The Government has confirmed that only essential business events can take place in Tier 4 areas across England.
Only business events for work, training or education purposes are permitted, with the added stipulation that they may only run if they cannot be delayed or conducted online. Under the latest government guidance, people in Tier 4 areas must stay at home, and work remotely unless they are unable to do so.
The latest adjustment to the rules has been introduced to allow key workers and essential services, such as the National Health Service, to operate.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) Visitor Economy Guidance for business events in Tier 4 areas reads: “Large business events such as conferences, exhibitions and trade shows are not permitted, this includes drive-in events.
“Business meetings for work, training or education purposes can still take place but only where the event cannot be delayed, where it is not possible to carry out the activity from home, and if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed Covid-19 guidance.”
“Event spaces, including in conference centres and exhibition halls, can be used for permitted reasons, including for business events where reasonably necessary, for education and training purposes where reasonably necessary, or to provide socially beneficial public services such as Nightingale hospitals or food banks.
“Conference centres and exhibition halls should remain closed for conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining or banqueting.”
Any permitted business event should adhere to Covid-secure guidance, such as ensuring adequate track and trace measures, maintaining social distancing, the wearing of masks, and follow hygiene measures.
Business events must not contain social networking elements such as receptions, and private dining and banqueting events remain prohibited.
People must not meet socially in any indoor setting in areas at Tier 2, 3 or 4 level with anyone they do not live with or have formed a support bubble with.
However, while the DCMS notes an exemption to allow gatherings for work purposes which are deemed critical, this does not include activities that are not strictly work-related, such as private dining or social purposes with work colleagues.
“If a work meeting changes into a primarily social gathering, then social contact restrictions apply, and the activity must stop if it breaches them,” the rules state. Organisers of such gatherings, and venues, face fines if they are found in violation.