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How Will Lockdown Affect Virtual and Hybrid Events?

On 31st October, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced a second national lockdown where businesses such as pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops will have to close for four weeks from Thursday 5th November. However, unlike the restrictions in spring, schools, colleges and universities can stay open.

The Prime Minister went on to confirm that only “essential” businesses would be permitted to stay open during the period and all “non-essential” retail, indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, entertainment venues and personal care facilities will remain closed.

He added that all hospitality venues, such as pubs and restaurants, will also close, save for offering a takeaway service, and hotels may only remain open for those travelling for essential business purposes. 

The Government also announced within the new lockdown measures that those unable to work from home should go to work, a point which has since been confirmed by Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, via his official Twitter account.

Dowden commented, “As the Prime Minister has just confirmed, we will be taking additional restrictions from Thursday.  We understand the anxiety and impact these will have and will ensure they last not a day longer than necessary.  The changes mean people should WFH where possible but where this is not possible, travel to a place of work will be permitted – e.g. this includes (but not exhaustive) elite sport played behind closed doors, film & TV production, telecoms workers.”

On Monday 2nd November, Chief Executive of the British Filming Commission, Adrian Wootton said, “Despite the extraordinary and difficult circumstances surrounding this second lockdown, it’s a great relief to see confirmation from the Culture Secretary that we have Government’s support to continue Film and TV Production work in the UK during lockdown, so long as productions are safely working within the rigorous and comprehensive COVID safety guidance prepared by the British Film Commission, developed in liaison with Government and industry.”

What Does This Mean for Virtual and Hybrid Events?

Virtual and hybrid events have continued as a standard practice in the UK since March 2020, as they allow event planners to deliver events both safely and reliably.

In order to have re-opened safely back in June after the first national lockdown, all event operators will have produced a COVID-19 risk assessment in line with HSE guidance. This guarantees that all steps to ensure the event venue is COVID-secure were put in place.

These steps included social distancing, cleaning and personal hygiene, tracing, contingency plans, managing local outbreaks, communications to staff and customers and more.

The Virtual Studio at Corporate Events has a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment, as well as policies and procedures which will enable us to continue delivering safe and effective virtual and hybrid events for our clients throughout the next lockdown.

Corporate Events are looking to the future. Our Virtual Event Studio is a Covid secure onsite facility at our headquarters in Swindon, Wiltshire. It hosts virtual and hybrid studios, green screens, breakout rooms, rehearsal studios and onsite facilities such as kitchen, rest rooms and free onsite parking.

Please talk to our Event and Account Management teams for more information on how things will be adapted further during the second lockdown, commencing Thursday 5th November. Or alternatively, contact us to discuss your requirements and we’ll share a variety of solutions. 

What does this mean for Business Events of up to 30?

On Monday 2nd November, Chief Executive of the Meetings Industry Association (MIA) shared, “We received a communication from The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) immediately after the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday and are continuing to work with them to determine how this will impact the business meetings and events sector. We will share updates with members as soon as we have clarification and will be hosting a live Q&A in due course.”

We will update our clients and suppliers as soon as we know more, but you can also stay up to date with the latest communications from the DCMS here.