To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to reopen the conference, events and exhibitions industry as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased; and what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the safe reopening of that industry of the ability of conferences, exhibitions and events to use effective tracking and tracing as a result of the high proportion of pre-registered attendees at those events; and if he will make a statement.
The events industry and its suppliers have been severely affected by the current situation. I fully understand their desire for a reopening date.
Meetings of up to 30 people indoors are now allowed in permitted venues if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate that it has followed the Covid-19 guidance.
From 1 August, exhibition and conference centres are allowed to show small groups (of up to 30 people with social distancing requirements) around to view the facilities and plan future events and to enable government-backed pilots to take place. They should not be open fully to host events more widely.
From 1 October, it is expected that events of all types (such as trade shows, consumer shows, exhibitions and conferences) will be allowed at a capacity allowing for compliance with social distancing. As with all aspects of the Government’s response to COVID-19, our decisions have been and will continue to be based on scientific evidence and public health assessments.
We have worked closely with events stakeholders through both the Visitor Economy and Events & Entertainment Working Groups to develop Covid-19 Secure reopening guidance for the business events industry. We continue to meet with the Events Industry Senior Leaders Advisory Panel to discuss the specific issues facing the industry.
Since 11 July, a range of outdoor events have been able to take place - including agricultural shows, literary fairs and car boot sales.