How does Covid-19 affect events in the UK?
We are fortunate in the event industry that we have some very active associations which are liaising with government advisors on potential impacts. The event and culture sector is also seen as a balance on normality, so everyone is focused on maintaining normality wherever possible.
The current position is that categorically stopping all events is not necessary. This is clearly a fast-moving situation and the government will need to make some challenging decisions that are proportionate to the risks.
Event organisers should continue to plan for events while closely monitoring the developments and advice from the UK government, Public Health England, the NHS and the World Health Organisation.
What does the UK government say about holding events and conferences
The health secretary has urged members of the public to carry on as normal. The health secretary said it would not be effective to close schools and offices and cancel large-scale public sporting events to try to contain the virus.
In a conference call with event organisers, the deputy chief medical officer (CMO) said there is “no clear rationale” for closing events in order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, as has happened in other European countries, including France, Switzerland and Italy.
Based on the biomathematical models of the virus’s spread, the current guidance is that stopping events is not necessary, Jonathan Van-Tam said, adding that the principal places of infection are the home, schools and workplace. With the virus having a relatively small radius of infection (two metres), pubs and public transport were noted as being more likely to be a source of transmission than events.
What else can you do instead of holding an event
Have you thought about using video live streaming services to broadcast your event? Companies can use live broadcasts to enhance and maximise direct communication with customers and community partners in an efficient and cost effective manner. You can find out more about our live streaming services here
What are your options if you still want to hold events considering Covid-19?
If you would like to continue holding your conference as normal, here are some measures you can implement at your next event:
Increase awareness of good personal hygiene and effective hand washing among staff and attendees. This could be via media messaging, signage, staff awareness and communicating this message to attendees on arrival.
Make hand-washing more accessible. Warm running water, soap and hand dryers should be readily available.
Provide anti-bacterial gels and foams around the event spaces.
Increase the cleaning regime to include contact surfaces within the event spaces.
Speak with your audio-visual supplier to make sure they are cleaning all AV equipment before and after your delegates use them.