The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 have been updated and will be law until September 27.

It means that local authorities still have the power to cancel non COVID-secure events in England.

Last week, the Government’s new Working Safely guidance outlined some of the measures that event organisers should consider when organising an event in England. At that time, the guidance stated that local authorities could issue a direction using the regulations, which expired on July 18.

However, the Government has since updated the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 just hours before Step 4 of the reopening roadmap.

Local authorities have been told that they cannot issue a blanket ban on events. They can issue a direction if:

  • it is responding to a serious and imminent threat to public health;
  • it is necessary to prevent, protect against, control or provide a public health response in relation to the incidence or spread of COVID-19; and
  • the measures taken are a proportionate way to achieve that purpose.

Industry experts have called the last-minute change unfair especially as the events industry has been calling on Government for weeks for clarification. With no Government-backed insurance scheme, local authorities and directors of public health can still cancel an event in England with short notice.

Event organisers are being urged to enter into early engagement with public health in their local area and local authority.

The Working Safely guidance can be found here.

The updated Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 can be found here.

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