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Council urges caution on event planning

Wiltshire leaders are urging people to think carefully before organising events post-21 June while there is still uncertainty over data and what the future holds.

Wiltshire Council have had enquiries from event organisers requesting confirmation that their events can go ahead and seeking advice on how to make them COVID secure.

The queries have come in since the Government’s COVID-19 Response Spring Roadmap was set out on 22 February. However it was made clear at the time the dates set out are indicative and are the earliest that steps will be considered in light of the data and meeting four tests.

In response to the queries both councils and Wiltshire Police are now sending out a joint message asking organisers to think carefully about making plans while the future remains uncertain.

In a joint letter partners state they would like to support and encourage events to take place once they can be held safely, however it isn’t possible to offer any reassurances that this will be likely over the coming months.  There is also currently no guarantee that events can continue as normal after 21 June.

The letter adds: ”We recognise that planning any event takes a significant amount of organising and expenditure to ensure it takes place safely and successfully. Due to the uncertainties involved and the need to wait for the data we are not able to offer any clear guidance on the necessary control measures or future restrictions that may still be place in the summer to ensure that events are COVID safe.”

People planning an event are being advised they do so in the knowledge of this shared uncertainty. The council and other agencies do not hold the liability for any event not proceeding under continuing restrictions – this would be the responsibility of the event organisers.

The joint letter goes on: “We do not currently have Government advice on the COVID mitigations envisaged when we reach Step 4 (21st  June), and there is a risk that your event may have to be cancelled, potentially with little notice, to protect the health of the public in accordance with any regulations that may be in force at the time.

“We recognise the benefits of the varied and diverse events that usually take place across Wiltshire are to both the wellbeing of attendees and to businesses. However safeguarding the health of our local communities and visitors must continue to be the priority.  In time the data and relevant Government guidance will become clearer but at this point it is right to highlight the risks associated with holding any events. We will of course continue to monitor the issue and update our website with the latest information.”