Restarting Events Latest Guidance

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The latest guidance has been published designed to assist local authorities in ensuring that events are able to go ahead safely and in accordance with what is permitted at each step of the UK Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Key information is mentioned below for each step. If you have any further queries or issues, you can contact Visit Herts at

Step 2 – 12 April

An event can take place at Step 2 (from 12 April) if:

All three of the following conditions are met:

  1. The event takes place outdoors
  2. Attendees are expected to arrive and leave the event in a staggered manner throughout the day
  3. It does not involve attendees converging on and congregating in a site for a specific discrete performance or activity, such as a theatre or music performance, OR if ​it is a drive-in performance or show.

This could include:

  • Agricultural shows, steam rallies, flower shows, gardening shows and events, literary fairs, car boot sales, community fairs, village fêtes, animal and pet shows, funfairs and fairgrounds.
  • Drive-in cinemas and drive-in performance events (e.g. comedy, dance, music, theatre and air shows). Attendees should remain in their vehicle for the duration of the performance.
  • Food and drink festivals are allowed, where the festival resembles an outdoor food market or outdoor hospitality venue, but if people are consuming food and drink at the venue, the table service rule would apply.

Step 3 – 17 May

Events and activities that are able to commence from Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May) include:

  • Business events such as conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, charity auctions, and private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality
  • Cinemas
  • Live performances (professional and non-professional/amateur)
  • Air shows, historical /battle re-enactments, live animal performances such as falconry displays at events, and non-elite and professional sporting events

All events recommencing at Step 3 will be subject to the following capacity caps:

  • 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower for indoor events
  • 4,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower for outdoor events

The government has also made a special provision for large, outdoor seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed around the venue. Read the guidance for more details.

Capacity restrictions must be adhered to at any point throughout the event. For example, a theatre can admit over 1,000 people in a single day, but no more than 1,000 people at one time. If an event runs over the course of multiple days, no more than 1,000 people should be admitted at any one time over that period. If a single venue hosts multiple different events at one time, and the attendees of each event are separated for the duration of the event (for example, a cinema with multiple screens, or an exhibition centre hosting multiple business events), the 50% capacity cap will apply to each individual event, rather than the venue.

For those events subject to capacity caps, the caps refer to the event attendees only. Staff, workers and volunteers are covered by the work exemption so should not be counted as part of the capacity cap. This includes:

  • contractors
  • administrators
  • delivery staff
  • operational team (such as reception, maintenance, cleaning security & stewarding and ticketing staff)
  • caterers and concession stand staff
  • presentation/production team
  • exhibitors, speakers, musicians and performers

Read the latest business events guidance here.