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Covid 19 Status Checks for Events

From the 15th December there are new regulations in place for event organisers.  

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Entry to Venues and Events) (England) Regulations 2021 set out what information you must provide to the Local Authority before an event takes place. 

This guidance is only intended for events in Thanet that fall into the following categories;

  1. indoor events with 500 or more attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as music venues with standing audiences or large receptions
  2. outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as outdoor festivals
  3. events with 10,000 or more attendees, whether indoor or outdoor, such as large sports and music events

There are exemptions that apply such as:

  • Weddings
  • Civil partnerships 
  • Funerals
  • Communal worship

We  strongly recommend that event organisers read the full government guidance before submitting their Covid Plan for approval;

PLEASE NOTE EVENTS TAKING PLACE UP UNTIL AND INCLUDING THE 29TH DECEMBER CAN SUBMIT A PLAN BUT THIS WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE TREATED AS APPROVED.

If you will be checking every individual entering your premises then you do not need to submit a plan to us.  You do need to submit a plan where Spot Checks will be used.  

Spot checks may be used in the following limited circumstances if it’s not reasonably possible to check proof of COVID-19 status for all attendees at these events:

  1. The majority of attendees are expected to arrive for a fixed start time, where entrants are likely to all arrive in a short space of time.
  2. It is not possible to set up checkpoints away from the entry points, and carrying out a check on every person would lead to a crowd gathering outside the venue or event.
  3. That crowd would either present a risk to the safety of the persons in the crowd, or to any other person, or provide a potential target for terrorist action – read more information on hospitality security considerations

In these circumstances, if it is not practical to check the NHS COVID Pass of all attendees, you must carry out an assessment of risk and determine the percentage of checks that can safely be carried out. 

The responsible person must submit this assessment of risk to apply to the relevant local authority at least 10 working days in advance of the event. You must submit to the local authority events department a copy of your Covid Plan.  

Please send the completed template to: Events@thanet.gov.uk 

The Covid Plan should set out how you have carried out an assessment of; 

  1. the potential risks to the safety of people attending the venue or event or of any other person, which may be caused by carrying out a check on every person, and
  2. what percentage of people it is reasonably possible to check without endangering the safety of attendees and other persons, and
  3. in carrying out that assessment has taken into account any guidance issued by the government which is relevant to the event or venue.
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You will need to think about whether or not checking all of your attendees could endanger them in some way.  Too many people waiting could cause a large gathering of people, if there is a busy road people could spill into the road if they are waiting to be checked, there is also a risk of violence if attendees become too crowded.

If you think that there could be danger to your attendees then you can look at percentage checks for large numbers of attendees or you could consider using an electronic method of checking Covid Status that prevents queuing or crowds at points of entry to your event.

Please read the full government guidance for more detailed information and worked examples. (add link)

Once we receive your plan we will review itt.  We will then either approve the measure, ask for alterations or reject the proposal thereby requiring the venue to conduct 100% checks. If Thanet Council replies less than 5 working days before your event then the spot check application will be treated as approved.

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An event is considered to be indoors if all or part of the event takes place in a venue which would be considered to be enclosed or substantially enclosed for the purposes of The Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006 .

Venues are enclosed if they have a ceiling or roof; and are permanently or temporarily enclosed (not including windows or doors).

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Anyone under 18 years old is exempt from the requirement to have an NHS COVID Pass. You should not ask for proof of age for workers and visitors under the age of 18. Attendees under 18 years olds count towards attendance thresholds.

There are some other people who are exempt from mandatory use of the NHS COVID Pass. You are not required to request evidence of COVID-19 status from these people when they are operating in their official capacities. However, you should check that they are an exempt person. These include:

local authority officers and emergency services responders, including police officers, medical professionals, and fire fighters a diplomat or someone working for an international organisation

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As a responsible person, you must produce, and keep up to date, a statement setting out the measures you will introduce to ensure that you are meeting the requirements of carrying out mandatory COVID-19 status checks, and that you are making the public aware of these measures. This should explain, where applicable, your spot check approach, if you have prior agreement from the local authority.

You must also retain records containing the following information on implementing the requirements of carrying out mandatory COVID-19 status checks:

  • the date of the event, or the date the records refer to for a venue
  • the number of people that attended the venue or event
  • where you have departed from your general policy statement of measures to meet certification requirements:
  • the reasons for adopting different measures
  • what measures were adopted
  • how an individual’s eligibility to enter the venue was checked
  • the number of occasions on which the reasonable measures you were taking to check COVID-19 status of attendees were varied from 100% checks by agreement with the local authority, and the number of people who were admitted on each such occasion
  • the number of occasions on which people were admitted to avoid injury or harm
  • If you are holding an event in a venue that has a capacity greater than the thresholds, but you do not use the NHS COVID Pass because you are not anticipating the number of attendees to meet or exceed them, you will need to produce a statement explaining how you intend to stay under the thresholds.
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You must maintain these records for 3 months from the date of the event or, for a venue, 3 months from the date to which the records refer. You must retain records of your general policy statement of measures to meet certification requirements for as long as the legislation on mandatory certification applies, and a further 3 months after it ceases to apply. Local authorities have powers to request these records or policy statements within 3 working days or as part of an inspection.

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You must not retain information from within the NHS COVID Pass, such as an individual’s name or COVID-19 status for members of the public who attend your venue or event

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Queries

If you have any queries please contact the events team:

Email: Events@thanet.gov.uk  Tel: 01843 577735

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