The Events Industry Forum (EIF) has described the delaying of Step 4 of the reopening roadmap as “another body blow” to organisers of outdoor events.

Although some outdoor events have been able to restart under Step 3 restrictions, many organisers are struggling with the economics of limited capacities, says the EIF.

Now, the forum, which has 26 member organisations, is putting pressure on the Government for it to underwrite a specific insurance scheme that will allow event organisers to operate.

Steve Heap, chair of the EIF, said: “It really is a major blow to our industry and further underlines the disastrous consequences that the lack of insurance is having on our sector. We have been pressing the Government for months to underwrite COVID insurance for the industry but to date they have ignored our pleas and this decision will further undermine the confidence of event organisers.   It takes an incredibly brave organiser to take on the investment risk with the knowledge that the Government or a local authority might pull the plug at the last moment without any form of compensation!

“While we fully support the need for caution in dealing with the pandemic, and our members are doing everything they can to minimise the risks at events they are organising, we now urgently need the Government to step up to the plate with an insurance scheme that enables us to plan for the future with some confidence that we will not be bankrupted by last minute decisions outside our control.”