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Gatherings and events

The changes to the public health guidance will come into force on 2am on Friday 20 November

Who this guidance applies to

This guidance applies to:

  • all types of public events and gatherings
  • private events and gatherings (including those in private properties, restaurants, hotels, pubs and restaurants and where hosted under a P49 licence)
  • live music
  • school performances
  • sporting events
  • gatherings in places of worship

This guidance is in addition to the general public health guidance, Advice for Islanders, Advice for businesses and the specific guidance that is in place for food and drinks services, licensed premises and live music and singing.

Principles for events and gatherings

Social gatherings are a known 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.

One of the key elements of events and gatherings is that people are generally being brought together over prolonged periods of time that know each other or have a common interest. This means that they are more likely to have close contact with greater numbers of people than in other situations. 

The level of risk presented by any event or gathering will vary, but the following should be considered:

  • events of a transient nature, held outside, present a lower risk for COVID-19 transmission
  • the consumption of alcohol reduces people's ability to maintain physical distancing
  • loud music encourages people to speak loudly, shout and lean into one another, increasing the risk of respiratory droplets passing from one person to another
  • gatherings inside allow COVID-19 to build up in the air and on touch points, increasing the risk of  transmission

Where large numbers of people may come into contact with an infected individual, the potential for a significant hotspot of infection is increased. This could have a significant impact on the wider Island population.

By limiting the total number of attendees and putting mitigation measures in place, events are able to proceed.  Any event or social gathering where the general public health guidance on physical distancing and hygiene cannot be adhered to should not take place.

Where the business or organisation putting on an event can demonstrate that strict controls are in place, a higher maximum number of attendees can be allowed.  In order to be defined as a controlled event a designated business or organisation must name a lead organiser, and a risk assessment must be completed showing how the guidelines for Controlled Events and Gatherings will be fully met.

Organisers of public events must, as per normal practice, gain permission of the Bailiff's Panel. Further details on Bailiff's Panel permission.

The numbers attending any event or gathering will be determined by the space available in order to allow physical distancing.  Organisers should consider the number of people that can safely occupy the venue while adhering to physical distancing.

Indoor events and gatherings

  • Rule of 10 - you can gather in no more than a total of 10 people (adults and children) inside private homes. If your household is already more than 10 people, then no more people can be invited to join you
  • Indoor controlled gatherings and events that are run by a business or organisation, where there is a risk assessment in place, (including a catered party, organised sports, public events and community and group activities and similar) are limited to a maximum of 20 people
  • an exception to this has been made for funeral services. Funeral services may take place with up to a maximum of 40 people, following the controlled events and gatherings guidelines

Outdoor events and gatherings

  • An outdoor venue for the purposes of the public health guidance must allow at least 50% ventilation around customers
  • Where new or temporary awnings are erected the final structure should not be substantially enclosed and it should not constitute more than a roof and one side
  • Informal outdoor gatherings and events are limited to a maximum of 20 people
  • Outdoor controlled gatherings and events that are run by a business or organisation, where there is a risk assessment in place, (including a catered party, organised sports, public events and community and group activities and similar) are limited to a maximum of 40 people

Guidelines for informal gatherings

Informal gatherings must not exceed the maximum of 10 people indoors and 20 outdoors.

Attendees must adhere to the general public health guidance, including physical distancing and hand and respiratory hygiene at all times.

Any gathering that is not able to follow these public health measures should not go ahead.

Guidelines for controlled events and gatherings

Businesses and organisations wishing to hold events above the maximum allowed for informal events need to demonstrate that adequate controls are in place to ensure that the public health guidance will be adhered to by all staff and attendees.

The following guidelines must be adhered to:

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 be designated for the pre-event planning (i.e. risk assessment / safety plan for the COVID-19 risk) and then to oversee that the event runs in adherence 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. The maximum numbers guidance should not be exceeded

The risk assessment and safety planning for the controlled event must put processes in place to ensure that the maximum numbers allowed are not exceeded at any time.

Indoor controlled events:

  • No more than 20 people can come together, in total, at any single event or gathering
  • Vendors, catering and other staff supporting the event can be in addition to the 20 guests, up to the maximum of 5 additional customer facing staff

Outdoor controlled events:

  • An outdoor venue for the purposes of the public health guidance must allow at least 50% ventilation around customers and where new or temporary awnings are erected the final structure should not be substantially enclosed and it should not constitute more than a roof and one side
  • No more than 40 people can come together, in total, at any single event or gathering
  • Vendors, catering and other staff supporting the event can be in addition to the 40 guests, up to the maximum of 10 additional customer facing staff

Events should be ticketed or by invitation. Total numbers can be managed through the maximum number of tickets / invitations allocated.

Where it is not appropriate to issue tickets, such as at markets or sports events, entry and exit points to the delineated event area should be managed with the total number not exceeding the maximum number permitted.

As of 20 November, events will not be able to operate a 'one-in-one-out' policy and no event will be able to have consecutive groups of attendees attending the event.  For example, this means that the total maximum number of runners in a race will be 40 and multiple 'waves' of 40 runners will not be permitted.

Concurrent events at the same venue

Multiple separate events may run concurrently in the same venue. For example, a football match on one pitch and hockey training in another area of the sports centre, or a birthday party in one function room and a corporate presentation in another, provided appropriate mitigation measures can be put in place and ensuring that there is no movement of people between events.

For outdoor concurrent events, mitigation measures should include:  

  • ensuring that the space is large enough to clearly separate (by at least five metres) concurrent events and that segregation of events is clearly marked between event/gathering areas   
  • putting measures in place to minimise the sharing of any facilities, including changing rooms and toilets 
  • where possible start and finish times should be staggered
  • where possible segregate parking and arrival areas 
  • putting in place measures to ensure that participants of each concurrent event, including staff, do not move between different concurrent events or gatherings

For indoor concurrent events mitigation measures should include:

  • ensuring that concurrent events are held in separate and clearly delineated areas (for example separate rooms) 
  • putting measures in place to minimise the sharing of any facilities, including toilets 
  • start and finish times must be staggered
  • where possible segregate parking and arrival areas
  • putting in place measures to ensure that participants of each concurrent event, including staff, do not move between different concurrent events or gatherings
  • where an event takes place in a separate private room in a venue that also has a restaurant or bar accessed by members of the public then measures must be in place to ensure that attendees of the event do not move between the private event and the public bar / restaurant

5. 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 1 metre physical distancing or more between members of different households is adhered to at all times
  • consideration should be 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 and licensed premises
  • bar service is not currently permitted
  • dancing is strongly discouraged due to the difficulties of physical distancing

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.

6. All relevant sector-specific guidelines should be followed  

All public health guidance for all businesses, 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. Events that enable people to engage in parallel activity rather than collective activity and so avoid the creation of a crowd are preferred

Activities that do not provide reasons for crowds to gather are preferred.

9. Managing the safe consumption of alcohol

Alcohol intake typically reduces inhibitions, including observance of one metre or more safe distance, and of hygiene measures. The presence of alcohol is therefore a significant risk factor for larger events.

Event organisers should consider if a non-licensed event is more appropriate.

Where alcohol is served, it must remain a seated service. On licensed premises, service must finish at 10pm and guests must leave the premises by 10.30pm.

Consideration of the safe consumption of alcohol should be included as part of the risk assessment and safety plan, in consultation with the licence holder, and in adherence of the Licensing (Jersey) Law 1974.

The guidance for licensed premises should also be adhered to.

10. The event should not deliberately attract off-Island visitors

Owing to the changing situation concerning visitors arriving from outside of the Island and the uncertainty that brings, it is strongly recommended that events are not promoted to off-Island visitors, and events should not be organised if they depend on external visitors, participants or guests, for example visiting performers, speakers or sports people.

However, other visitors may 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. Those attending from designated 'green', 'red' or 'amber' countries overseas must first have received their negative PCR tests before attending and should not attend until their isolation period is completed.

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

Singing, in addition to woodwind and brass instrument playing, remains strongly discouraged because of the high risk of dispersing droplets and therefore of spreading infection.

Any other music should be kept to a low level and be non-amplified to allow conversation at a normal volume, owing to the higher risk presented by shouting. 

12. Viable arrangements should 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 request that attendees provide their contact details to facilitate the contact tracing process should a COVID-19 case be confirmed at the event.

Collecting contact information

Winter events steering group

A winter events steering group is being set up to provide advice on the type of events can safely go ahead this winter.  Further information on this task force will be published in due course

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