Holding an event during Covid-19

Guidance for Events


Updated March 2022

The guidance is expected to change on April 1st, and is therefore currently applicable to events up to 31st March 2022. From April 1st, guidance will be consolidated to the public and businesses, in line with public health advice.

COVID-19 Procedures for staff, artists, vendors/traders & volunteers

This document offers guidance on organising events while reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19. The advice applies to indoor or outdoor events of any size, organised by businesses charitable organisations or public bodies. Rules and regulations have mostly been replaced with advice and guidance on the practical steps people can take to help manage the risks to themselves and others.

The following procedures have been developed by Leicestershire County Council in collaboration with partners. This guidance supports your existing legal obligations relating to health and safety, entertainment licensing and regulations, employment and equality duties. The guidance is non-statutory guidance that you should consider when complying with these existing obligations, to ensure you are working safely by reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Full guidance can be found here.



Summary of Topics

Guidance for events   1

Planning an event. 2

Gaining entrance to an event. 2

If somebody develops COVID-19 symptoms onsite. 3

Social distancing. 3

Ventilation. 3

Face coverings & PPE. 4

COVID Pass requirements. 4

Other considerations. 5

Useful information. 6





Planning an event


From April 1st 2022, employers will not have to explicitly consider COVID-19 in risk assessments. This will empower businesses to take responsibility for implementing measures appropriate for individual circumstances.

Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment which should cover general topics as well as site/ business specific risks and actions. COVID-19 is a workplace hazard and should be managed in the same way as other workplace hazards to avoid breaching health and safety law. The risk assessment should protect workers as well as others such as contractors, volunteers and customers by identifying control measures to manage the risks and should also take into account any reasonable adjustments needed for staff and customers with disabilities. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has supporting tools. A risk management template can be found here.


  • Ways the virus can spread (aerosols, droplets and surfaces)
  • Security implications
  • The nature of business
  • Discuss risk mitigation with staff
  • Impact of policies on groups with protected characteristics and those at higher risk  of serious illness
  • Indoor events present a higher risk than outdoor events

Include a plan of what would be done in the event of an outbreak. Nominate a member of staff to be the single point of contact (SPOC) to contact Public Health teams in the event of an outbreak.


Gaining entrance to an event

An event organiser can take necessary steps to comply with relevant guidelines intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but cannot be responsible for the behaviour or health of other staff or attendees, and completely ensure that no staff or attendees at the event will have COVID-19. Accordingly, event organisers will not be responsible if you catch COVID-19 at the event.

The risk assessment should demonstrate how you intend to communicate to staff and guests who have symptoms, or have tested positive, that they should not attend the event. Ensure workers, customers and visitors who feel unwell do not attend, and turn away people with COVID-19 symptoms, even if fully vaccinated. From February 24th 2022, workers are no longer legally obliged to inform their employers when they are asked to self isolate. If staff test positive, they may be entitled to statutory sick pay until 24th March 2022.

 Attendees should not attend the site if they have tested positive (or displays symptoms) for COVID-19 within 10 days of the start of the event. Some attendees will safely be able to attend 6 days after their symptoms began (or the date of their positive test) if they have received negative lateral flow tests on day 5 and day 6 of their isolation.

Ensure attendees are aware of relevant information and any entry requirements (particularly if you choose to use COVID-19 status checks at your event) before they attend, and that messaging during the event supports the safety measures. This will ensure all attendees understand their expectations and can provide any evidence they may need. From the 1st of April 2022, the government will remove the current guidance on domestic voluntary COVID-status certification and will no longer recommend that certain venues use the NHS COVID Pass. Venues will continue to have the right to apply checks to visitors if they would like to do so.

If somebody develops COVID-19 symptoms onsite:

  • A high temperature
  • A new continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of taste or smell

Ensure that you have an up-to-date plan setting out the steps to take if a case of COVID-19 is reported in your facility or event.

This should be set out in your risk register, and should include the following factors:

  • Take steps to ensure that people who have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 do not attend your facility. Make sure people know they should not visit your venue or event if they are symptomatic or have recently tested positive for COVID-19
  • Do not rely on temperature screening or disinfectants as a risk mitigation
  • Consider using COVID-19 status checks to reduce the risk of transmission at your venue or event. This is not a requirement
  • Manage customers and crowds, and reduce unnecessary contact. The risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 is higher in crowded places, especially if they are indoor, and reducing congestion will help

If anyone develops incapacitating COVID symptoms they should identify themselves to an appropriate person who can contact the first aid team, who will look after them and escalate the situation as necessary.


Social distancing

Businesses still have a responsibility to protect employees and others from risks to their health and safety. The Events Research Programme found that increasing crowd density can have an impact on localised ventilation which may in turn result in an increased risk of transmission. Key areas of higher density were observed in queues, in hospitality areas, and when attendees were leaving the venue at the end of the event. Whilst it is no longer a legal requirement, individuals can try to stay 2m away from other people.


You should make sure there is a supply of fresh air to enclosed spaces where there are people present. This can be natural ventilation through windows, doors and vents, mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, or a combination of both. You should identify any poorly ventilated spaces in your premises and consider steps you can take to improve fresh air flow in these areas. In some places, a CO2 monitor can help identify if the space is poorly ventilated. You should take action to improve ventilation where CO2 readings are consistently higher than 1500ppm.

Pay particular attention to areas of high occupancy, and consider how the space is used. Where there is continuous talking or singing, or high levels of physical activity (such as dancing, playing sport or exercise), providing ventilation sufficient to keep CO2 levels below 800ppm is recommended.

HSE guidance on ventilation and air conditioning during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here. If you are not the venue owner, discuss ventilation and cleaning with venue operator.

Face coverings & PPE

Face coverings are no longer legally required, however the government suggests that they continue to be worn in crowded and enclosed spaces, where people may meet who are not normally in regular contact. Customers and staff may choose to wear a face covering in any setting. You should support your workers if they choose to wear face coverings, and ensure they are aware of the guidance on using face coverings safely. Employers can also choose to ask their staff or customers to wear a face covering, even though they are not legally required.

If you are deciding whether to ask workers or customers to wear a face covering, you should consider reasonable adjustments needed for staff and customers with disabilities. You also need to consider carefully how this fits with other obligations to workers and customers arising from the law on employment rights, health and safety and equality legislation.

Some people are not able to wear face coverings, and the reasons for this may not be visible to others. Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances. You will also need to consider carefully your obligations arising from equality legislation.

Use your risk assessment to think about whether some staff need to take additional precautions. This will not apply to most staff, but may be needed for some people if there is a higher risk of infection in the work they do. It may be necessary to provide some workers with different types of protective equipment, because the risk of COVID-19 spreading is higher when people are in close contact with others or have to be in a contaminated area. You can find more advice in the guidance for close contact services


It is no longer mandatory for venues to check the COVID-19 status of attendees. From 1st Aril 2022, guidance on voluntary COVID-status certification in domestic settings will be removed, and venues will not be recommended to use the NHS COVID pass.  However, venues where large crowds gather may choose to check the status of attendees and/ or their workforce to keep them safer. You should consider how COVID-19 status checks fit with your legal obligations, such as health and safety and equalities legislation.

If you are checking the COVID-19 status of workers and visitors, you should not request this from anyone under the age of 18.

You should not ask people attending your venue in an official capacity for proof of COVID-19 status, including local authority officers and emergency services responders, including police officers, medical professionals, and fire fighters, or a diplomat or someone working for an international organisation

The NHS COVID pass can show:

  • Vaccination status (2 doses of an approved vaccine)
  • Results of a recent LFD or PCR test (within the last 48 hours)
  • Exemption based on an approved medical exemption.

A valid text or email confirmation from NHS Test and Trace can also be used as proof a person has completed a negative PCR test or negative lateral flow test within the past 48 hours. Those using testing to show their COVID-19 status are strongly advised to take tests as late as possible before attending your venue or event, ideally within 12 hours, to strengthen the protection testing provides.

The domestic NHS COVID Pass does not recognise natural immunity. Proof of natural immunity (or a previous positive test result) should not be accepted as an alternative to proof of vaccination or a recent test.

If you are asking customers to demonstrate their COVID status you should communicate these entry requirements clearly with your customers and staff, so they know what to expect when visiting your venue. This could include notifying customers of the requirement to show their NHS COVID Pass on your promotional materials and website, informing those who make telephone enquiries or adding the information to tickets, as well as providing information how to comply with entry requirements.

If you choose to require attendees to demonstrate their COVID-19 status you should consider checking for proof of COVID-19 status through use of the free NHS COVID Pass Verifier app wherever possible to ensure passes are valid and have not expired and reduce the possibility of fraud. This provides the most secure verification of an NHS COVID Pass, compared to a visual check. Text or email proofs should be visually checked.

If you are checking passes using the NHS COVID Pass Verifier app, as recommended, you will be processing personal data and therefore you will have obligations as a data controller under data protection legislation. See the ‘Data protection’ section at the end of this page.  A limited visual check of an NHS COVID Pass is not subject to data protection regulations.

Where you are applying COVID-19 status checks and attendees to your venue or event are international residents, you should accept certain vaccination proofs from other countries. If the vaccination proof is accepted at the UK border, you should accept it at your venue or event. For more information, read the guidance on approved COVID-19 vaccines and countries with approved proof of vaccination.

Other considerations

  • The risk assessment will determine whether staff should wear PPE.
  • Facilities for hand washing for staff and visitors should be readily available & encouraged
  • Increased frequency of cleaning of regularly touched areas, and of any shared equipment. It is not necessary to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) or clothing for general cleaning. However, if staff are cleaning after someone who has (or may have) COVID-19 has been to your facility, they will need additional protection because the risk is higher in a contaminated area. You should provide aprons and disposable gloves for people who are cleaning after a case (or possible case) of COVID-19.
  • Communicate and train. Keep all your workers, contractors and visitors up-to-date on how you’re using and updating safety measures
  • Encourage vaccination (both doses) for all staff


  • Early engagement with partners, such as the local authority, transport authorities, Safety Advisory Groups (SAG) will ensure that issues can be identified and resolved without delay.


COVID-19 has not gone away, so it’s important to remember the actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe. Everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.

Useful information


Government guidance for people who work in performing arts, including arts organisations, venue operators and participants

Government guidance for people who work in indoor and outdoor attractions, hotels and guest accommodation, and business events and consumer shows is now available

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport have a variety of coronavirus guidance for DCMS sectors

World Health Organisation has produced a mass gathering risk assessment tool 

HSE coronavirus guidance explains how to protect people at work