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Gatherings and events for Islanders, organisations and businesses

Gatherings and events guidance for Islanders

Updated Friday 9 April

A fundamental part of the Island's reconnection road map is recognising the importance of meeting with other people for our emotional and social wellbeing.

Keeping cases low to allow reconnection

The spread of COVID-19 is greatest when people mix with other households - there are less controls in private homes and this creates additional risk of infecting other people with COVID-19.

As more people spend time in close contact with one another, the risk of infection increases and transmission of COVID-19 multiplies. This can cause clusters of infection and risks wider community spread. The Island experienced this over the last year.

We must all continue to keep cases as low as possible by sticking to the guidance. Doing so, will allow greater freedoms for all Islanders as we complete reconnection.

Stage 5 from Monday 12 April

  • Up to 20 people are able to informally gather in other people's homes and gardens, or in other outdoor places, from Monday 12 April.

Gatherings in people’s homes and gardens

The law is amended to permit up to 20 people to gather in another person's home or garden, but it remains an offence for more than 20 people to gather in another person's home or garden under the COVID-19 (Gathering Control) (Jersey) Order 2020.

The exceptions to the rule of 20 in the home and garden are:

  • children aged 4 or under do not count in the maximum of 20 people (for example you may have 20 people aged 5 or over, plus babies and children aged 4 or under)
  • up to 50 people may attend the solemnisation of a marriage or civil partnership in another person's garden. This only includes the formal ceremony of solemnisation and does not include any reception or party usually associated with a marriage or civil partnership.

Further information on getting married

To meet other people safely and to keep the island on the road map to greater freedoms you are strongly advised to:

  • keep the numbers and groups of people you gather with as low and as small as possible, for example a few sets of friends or family members for a meal
  • avoid attending multiple gatherings with people over consecutive periods, for example over the weekend attending a number of birthday parties and celebrations
  • you must never exceed the number of 20, despite achieving low numbers of cases, transmission between households is the biggest risk for community spread
  • where you can, stay up to 2 metres apart from people from other households when indoors or in a garden
  • as much as possible continue to meet people in outside spaces like a garden or the beach, it is always safer outside
  • improve ventilation by encouraging air flow by opening doors and windows
  • if you have been protecting someone vulnerable by keeping your contact groups small continue to do so, be mindful that the more people you see the greater the risk of transmission
  • if you are visiting higher risk people who have not yet received full vaccine protection from two doses, it's safer wearing a mask

Informal outdoor gatherings

If you are informally getting together with other people outside of your home (for example, on the beach):

  • there must be no more than 20 people. This number does not include children aged 4 or under (you may have 20 people aged 5 or over, plus babies and children aged 4 or under).
  • try to keep a distance of 2 metres (and always a minimum of 1 metre) between different households. Whilst the law has been amended and it is no longer an offence to less the 2 metres apart, it is still recommended wherever possible

Key Public Health messages for gatherings

  •  

    follow the gathering guidance

  •  

    minimise the number of households who get together as much as practically possible

  •  

    keep a distance of 2 metres and always a minimum of 1 metre between all households

  •  

    wash your hands regularly

  •  

    wear a mask

  •  

    keeps records of who you socialise with to support the contact tracing team if you test positive or are found to be a direct contact of a positive case

  •  

  • stay alert to you or anyone in your household developing symptoms, contact the helpline and isolate from others until a negative result or advised by the contact tracing team

  •  

  • take extra care if you're meeting someone who is higher risk to make sure the risk of passing on the virus is minimised

Guidance for organisations and businesses

Social events and gatherings are a catalyst for the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 is transmitted from person-to-person through respiratory droplets and contact with contaminated surfaces, and the risk of transmission appears to be proportional to the closeness and frequency of the interaction between an infected individual and an individual who is not infected.

Private and public events and gatherings

Businesses and organisations that hold events must adhere to public health guidance set out below and to any other legal requirements. This may include obtaining necessary permissions from the Bailiff's Panel. Further details on Bailiff's Panel permission

Further information and advice

If you require further advice on what is permitted you can also email workplacecovid@gov.je

For more information see:

COVID-19 (GATHERING CONTROL) (JERSEY)ORDER 2020)

COVID-19 (WORKPLACE RESTRICTIONS) (JERSEY) ORDER 2020

1. A designated lead organiser should be assigned with responsibility for the event, who is accountable under health and safety legislation

Identified lead(s) must:

  • undertake pre-event planning (i.e. risk assessment / safety plan for the COVID-19 risk)
  • oversee the event to ensure it runs in accordance with this guidance. This does not need to be the same person.

The designated lead for risk assessment and implementation of safety planning is responsible for:

  • completing the risk assessments and safety plan for COVID-19
  • ensuring communication with any sub-contractors at the event. Whilst each business is responsible through Health and Safety at Work law for managing the risk of their own operations a delegated individual should ensure co-ordination across the event

The designated lead for the safe running of the event is responsible for:

  • ensuring that the wider COVID-19 safety planning is adhered to at the event
  • relevant security personnel should be considered to support the lead where appropriate

2. A full risk assessment should be undertaken and implemented via a safety plan which fully addresses and mitigates all COVID-19 public health risks associated with the event

This should include:

  • safe travel to and from the event for all attending
  • safe provision of food and drinks during the event
  • sufficient, safe-distanced access to hygienic toilet facilities throughout
  • safe distancing and hygiene during the event as appropriate and tailored to the activities involved

Consideration should be given to how attendees get to and from the event venue, ensuring that physical distancing and hygiene are maintained during the journey and on arrival and departure.

The public health guidance on private transport should be adhered to as relevant.

3. Relevant information should be provided to, and obtained from, attendees ahead of the event

Relevant information should be provided by the organiser to attendees prior to the event. This could be as part of the event invitation or could be displayed or communicated on the entrance to the event as appropriate. It should cover the following:

  • ensuring that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms does not attend the event
  • ensuring that anyone isolating for any reason does not attend the event
  • ensuring that appropriate advice is given to high risk individuals who are shielding about attending the event
  • ensuring that guests attending from overseas have read and understand the Safer Travel Guidance
  • ensuring that those attending from designated 'green', 'red' or 'amber' countries overseas must first have received their negative PCR test results before attending and should not attend until their isolation period is complete
  • communication of the public health measures that guests will be expected to adhere to during the event
  • guest contact information must be requested from attendees prior to them joining the event in line with item 12 below

4. All areas, inside and outside, should be appropriately managed to maintain safe distancing and hygiene

Physical distancing

The risk and safety planning for the event must have processes in place to ensure: 

  • that where possible 2 metres physical distancing (at least 1 metre) is maintained between members of different households at all times (whilst the requirement to maintain 2 metres distance has been removed from law, it is nevertheless still recommended)
  • consideration is given to the number of attendees, spacing of seating, spacing within service areas and the flow of serving staff between tables 
  • congregation and queuing measures are in place, for example at entry and for toilet facilities 
  • only a seated food and drinks service is allowed in adherence with the guidance for food and drink
  • standing bar service is not permitted
  • dancing is strongly discouraged due to the difficulties of physical distancing
  • In order to support physical distancing, and keep their guests safe, it is recommended that wherever possible event organisers operate on a principle of approximately 50% of normal capacity

Hand and respiratory hygiene

  • sufficient hand washing or alcohol sanitising facilities should be provided for both guests and staff and reminders should be clearly posted 
  • guests should be reminded to observe respiratory hygiene measures and to refrain from speaking loudly / shouting / singing 
  • toilets may be provided in an inside area where the event takes place outside 
  • hygiene facilities must be provided for and used solely for the purpose of the event and its guests 

Cleaning

Enhanced cleaning regimes should be in place. See advice for all businesses.

5. Customer and Visitor numbers and concurrent events

The risk assessment and safety planning for the event must put processes in place to ensure that visitor numbers are with safe limits. As set out above, in order to support physical distancing it is recommended that event organisers operate on a principle of approximately 50% of normal capacity.

Concurrent events in the same indoor venue can go ahead when:

  • customers and visitors engaged in different activities or events at the same time can be clearly separated from one another in different rooms / facilities
  • customers and visitors cannot move between events or between an event and a separate food and drink service
  • concurrent events should have their own access to separate facilities and ideally separate access to entrance and exits
  • customers and visitors must be made aware of requirements for attending concurrent events
  • where a venue cannot ensure clear separation between different groups of customers or visitors, they should avoid providing concurrent events

6. All relevant sector-specific guidelines and legal restrictions to certain workplaces should be followed

All law, public health guidance for all businesses, for example wearing masks indoors, ensuring 2 metre physical distancing where possible (and always 1 metre minimum) in addition to the sector specific guidance for food and drinks services, licensed premises and guidance on live music and singing must be adhered to.

7. Maximum levels of ventilation should be achieved - outdoor events are preferred as lower risk

Outdoor events are preferred, and where events are not taking place outside ventilation and external air flow should be maximised.

8. Managing the safe consumption of alcohol

The guidance for food and drink should also be adhered to.

10.Off-Island visitors attending events or gatherings

From the point of travel reconnection, off-Island visitors should only attend local events or gatherings if they are able to demonstrate adherence with the testing and isolation requirements of the Safer Travel Guidance before attending.

11. Music should be kept at a low level, to avoid encouraging shouting and/or singing

Music (live or pre-recorded) should be kept to a low level to allow conversation at a normal volume, owing to the higher risk presented by shouting and leaning in to one another.

Guidance for music

12. Viable arrangements must be made to enable contact tracing

Contact tracing is the process of identifying close or direct contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in order to communicate the risks of infection and provide advice on testing and isolation to prevent further spread.

Owing to the higher risks associated with gatherings, the designated lead organiser must collect contact details of every customer over the age of 12 to facilitate the contact tracing process should a COVID-19 case be confirmed at the event.

Collecting contact information

Wedding and civil partnership guidance (plus other private events)

The guidance set out below relates to weddings and civil partnerships but, in the most part, it also applies to any private event that is being hosted in a venue such as a hotel or visitor attraction, for example a business meeting, a fundraising event or a family event, including a funeral wake.


Stage 5 from Monday 12 April

  • The guidance applies from 12 April to on, or around, 9 May at which point it is anticipated that it will be further updated.

From 12 April it is no longer an offence to be within 2 metres of another person but it is recommended that, wherever practicable, people try to remain 2 metres apart, with 1 metre being the minimum recommendation. 2 metres (with a minimum of 1 metre) is recommended because it helps to keep people safe and helps ensure that, in the event that one person has COVID, a significant number of other people are not required to self-isolate as a result of being identified as a close contact. Bear this recommendation in mind when reading the guidance below.

Solemnisation of marriage and civil partnerships

The solemnisation of a marriage or a civil partnership is the formal ceremony at which a person gets married or enters a civil partnership. This is different from the reception, breakfast or celebration that is usually associated with a solemnisation ceremony.

There is no limit on the number of people who may attend the solemnisation ceremony if it is held in an indoor or outdoor venue, however, if more than 50 people are present and the event is indoors all attendees aged 12 or over must wear a mask and provide contact details

If the ceremony is:

  • outdoors in private garden the maximum number of people is 50 excluding anyone who lives in the home and any one aged 4 or under but including the celebrant and any event organiser or service provider ( this does not include marquees which are classed as 'indoors')
  • indoors in a private home the maximum number of visitors is 20 excluding anyone who lives in the home and any one aged 4 or under but including the celebrant and any event organiser or service provider

Masks and contact details are not required in law if there are less than 50 people indoor venue or if the event is taking place in a home or garden but they are recommended along with physical distancing.

A service provide could include, for example, a photographer or caterer.

Receptions / breakfasts / celebrations (plus other private events)

If the event takes place inside a private home or garden the maximum number of people is 20 excluding anyone who lives in the home and any one aged 4 or under but including the celebrant and any event organiser.

Masks and contact details are not required in a home or garden but they are recommended along with physical distancing.

If the event is held at an indoor or outdoor venue there is no limit on the number of people who can attend but the event organiser is responsible for ensuring adhere to the following guidance:

Guests

  • should try to stay 2 metres distance between households where practicable and always a minimum of 1 metre
  • must wear a mask when indoors except for when sitting at a table to eat or drink
  • must provide their contact details on arrival

It is recommended that venues which are hosting events or gatherings plan on a 50% of usual capacity assumption as this will support physical distancing recommendations particularly around bottle neck areas such as a corridors and entrances and exits.

Marquees

  • Marquees are classed as an indoor space unless it has no sides (ie. is a roof only). Guests in marquees must wear masks.

Eating and drinking

  • Eating and drinking is only permitted at tables. Guests cannot eat and drink when standing or sitting other than at a table. This includes serving canapes and drinks on arrival.
  • Buffets are not recommended as people must be seated to eat. There is a risk with a buffet that people will start to eat the food they have selected from the buffet before they are seated at their table
  • Sharing boards on tables are permitted for guests who are already sat at their table although consideration should be given to enabling guests to serve the food hygienically to avoid contamination or spread
  • The wedding cake may be displayed and cut by the couple but must be served to guest seated at tables

Bar service

Standing bar service is not permitted. Guests may order at a bar but the drinks should be served to them when they are seated at the table. Consideration should be given to the measures that need to be put in place, particularly if guests are paying for their drinks.

Table planning and maximum numbers

There should be 2 metres physical distancing where possible, and always a minimum of 1 metre, between people sat at different tables - this will dictate the number of guests you may have at the venue.

Masks

Masks must be worn at all times when indoors. The exception is when attendees are seated at a table to eat and drink.

Mingling between guests

Guests may mingle but, if indoors they must wear masks. They cannot be eating, drinking or dancing and it is recommended that they maintain physical distancing.

Music as part of the solemnisation ceremony

There is separate guidance relating to music during the formal services.

Music including live bands and DJs at reception / breakfast / celebration

All music, whether live or pre-recorded, must be at a volume that is sufficiently low so that people do not have to raise their voices when speaking. Raising voices increases the risk of virus transmission.

Guest should not sing along to any music but professional singers and performers may perform providing there is adherence to the music guidance.

Dancing

Guests should not be allowed to dance with the exception of a 'first dance' between the couple. This includes 'silent discos'.

Closing times at venues

Last orders at all food and drink premises is 11.00 pm with an 11.30 closing time. This may be earlier depending on the individual licence or permissions held by the venue, who should be able to advise.

Photography

Masks must be worn indoors and consideration needs to be given to adequate physical distancing between households.

Photo booth and props

Photo booths are not recommended because of the challenge to physically distancing – unless used by individual people or household groups and the use of props /fancy dress must be avoided because of potential contamination of COVID-19

Children's entertainers

Children's entertainers are permitted but consideration should be given to maintaining physical distancing and to ensuring any props are not shared due to potential contamination. The entertainer will be required to wear a mask if indoors.


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