All large public events in the New Forest, including those in aid of charity, must comply with recognised safety standards.
If you are planning to organise a public event, review our event organiser checklist to make sure you are prepared.
You can take advantage of the advice available from the Safety Advisory Group (SAG). This is a group of relevant agencies, including the council, that can help event organisers to ensure that public safety is paramount.
The SAG will help with all public events, including:
The Government Covid-19 Response - Spring 2021 plan outlines a 4 step roadmap for easing restrictions. It states how the Government and industry representatives are exploring how events with larger crowd sizes and less social distancing can resume safely. Starting in April, the Government will carry out research to include a series of pilots using enhanced testing approaches and other measures to run events with larger crowd sizes and reduced social distancing to evaluate the outcomes. The aim is for a consistent approach to lifting restrictions on events and depending on the outcome of this research, the Government has stated that it hopes to be able to lift restrictions on events no earlier than 21 June 2021.
There are other important dates which will impact events this year and full details of the Government's roadmap are contained in the Covid-19 Response - Spring 2021 plan but we have outlined below the main points from the 4 step plan in relation to events.
The majority of outdoor sports and leisure facilities are permitted to open and organised outdoor sports are permitted to take place. People will be able to meet outside in groups up to a maximum of 6 people (the Rule of 6) or with one other household, though people from different households will still need to socially distance from each other. The rules on social contact outdoors will apply in these settings.
Outdoor attractions including outdoor hospitality, such as zoos, theme parks are permitted to open and drive-in cinemas and drive-in performance events permitted to take place. The rules on social contact outdoors will apply in these settings. Outdoor gatherings must still be limited to 6 people or 2 households as in Step 1.
Remaining outdoor entertainment such as outdoor theatres and cinemas will be permitted to open and:
At this stage, the Government aims to ease limits on social contact and it will be up to each individual to make informed personal decisions although gatherings of more than 30 people outdoors will remain illegal. COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and premises must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits.
Large events to be permitted with higher than the previously set capacities subject to the outcome of the Scientific Events Research Programme and potentially using testing to reduce the risk of infection. This is subject to further evaluation.
It is important to note that these dates are subject to change and depend upon data relating to:
You should notify SAG at the earliest opportunity. You should give at least 3 months notice of your event.
When planning an event involving more than 10,000 people a minimum of 5 months notice should be given.
As well as notifying SAG and sending a copy of your event plan, fire risk assessments and other supporting documents, you will also need to include the following documents to confirm to SAG members how the event will deal with the risks of holding an event during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When planning an event at this time you need to consider how activities associated with the event or incidental parts of it, will affect the risk of transmission of infection such as:
Assessment of the risks should include the event itself and the wider impact.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please note that all events are subject to cancellation without liability to New Forest District Council. In the case of events that have been approved through the SAG process, they may be subject to enforcement action, which would prevent them from being held. If the event is already in progress then it could be closed.
For further guidance, download the Event Notification Procedures document below.
If you still wish to organise an event for 2021, you may notify the SAG about your upcoming event using the online form below.
The SAG members will be distributed your event details and supporting documents.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your event details will also be distributed to the Public Health Team for Hampshire. They will review applications and supporting documents with regard to preventing the spread of infection, taking into account all current national and local guidance.
Each event will be considered on a case by case basis.
Any necessary advice and guidance will usually be given on a one-to-one basis from a SAG member to the organiser.
Some smaller events that do not pose any specific risks will not require the SAG members to meet. In more complex cases or where considered appropriate, the SAG members can meet as a group or sub-group to discuss a case.
If an event is identified as likely to compromise public safety, the appropriate SAG agency may need to consider action to prevent the event from taking place unless safety improvements are made. In this case, organisers will be contacted directly by the agency.
Additional consideration will also be taken on how the event is likely to affect the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Although there is a successful vaccine roll-out, any gathering can be a source for cross infection, which could lead to a spike in cases in a particular area.
Approved plans and assessments will need to be amended to comply with any later changes in Government guidelines and local restrictions in place at the time of your event.
The SAG welcomes post-event feedback in relation to notified events. This can be provided up to 28 days after an event has been held.
A feedback box is provided on the public events register. This is for general comments and experiences only, and will help with improving the safety of events in the future.
If you have a complaint that you would like followed up, contact the relevant council department as necessary. If your complaint relates to crime and disorder offences, contact Hampshire Police.
Visit the Health and Safety Executive website for guidance on running events safely.
Visit the GOV.UK website for information on organising a street party.
You can download several documents related to safety at events below. These should not be a substitute for existing technical guidance or documents otherwise available.
We maintain public registers of events in New Forest.
View a register of public events listed by the SAG using the link below.
Public events can enhance community life, but the potential for risk to public safety and environmental damage is increased if they are poorly planned. Proper planning and management by the event organiser is essential to reduce those risks.
The Safety Advisory Group co-ordinates the efforts of relevant agencies to provide advice to anyone who wishes to organise an event within the New Forest area.
The aims and objectives of the SAG are to:
The SAG is made up of core members and invited representatives from other agencies when needed. The core members are officers from:
The Chair of the SAG may invite additional people, for example:
For further information or queries about events or the SAG, contact us using the details below.
Chair of Safety Advisory Group
New Forest District Council