Government launches new ‘Visitor Economy Guidance’, including for funfairs, for use by both operators and local councils
The Government has published an updated comprehensive Guidance on Working Safely during coronavirus (COVID-19):
• The update / change made was to the Visitor Economy section (that funfairs fall within) with a new, shorter format; focussing on “actions to make your workplace COVID-Secure,” as well as updated guidance covering Step 1 of the roadmap out of lockdown (“no earlier than 12th April”)
• This follows weeks of discussion and negotiation on the issue from the Showmen’s Guild with the DCMS, over differentiating fairs from other larger outdoor events (like festivals) and having our guidance mentioned within theirs on the Government website. This is a breakthrough that should assist greatly all Showmen in their discussions with local councils.
• There is more discussion with the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) to take place nationally, but the local Directors of Public Health are mentioned in the information to Showmen; with a link to all 134 of them across England, that Guild (and other associations’) members will all have to talk to, town-by-town, armed with the new Government guidance and with the Guild’s own guidance.
The new Guidance applies to England:
• For Wales, details here:
• For Scotland, details here:
• For Northern Ireland, details here:
What this means for you ahead of opening:
• The Visitor Economy (including funfairs) are working environments, but that also include dealing with the public.
• Keeping everyone safe within all these environments (indoors and outdoors) is discussed and then broken down sector-by-sector and stage-by-stage in opening.
• There is a lot of standard, national guidance that applies and Showmen operators need to read all of it and apply it to their risk assessments.
• What and who the guidance is for (including operators, with fairs mentioned and local councils) is explained, as well as how to use the guidance.
• All the way through there are links to specific sectors and links to more detailed guidance.
• It points out that some activities combine areas, covered by more than one set of guidance (like catering at a fair) so online links to each activity’s guidance must be followed.
• The DCMS team talked to Public Health England (PHE) about the guidance as well, to align their guidance wherever possible, to avoid contradictions between national government and health chiefs.
The guidance is in preparation for when the economy can open in and includes sections which must be read and considered in producing a risk assessment as follows:
1. COVID-19 risks,
2. Managing operations,
3. Managing visitors,
4. Managing your workforce,
5. Managing your facility,
6. Face coverings and PPE (in indoor settings mainly)
7. Travel and transport,
8. Organised outdoor events (outdoor event planning, guidance for organisers and local authorities),
In section 8 of the new Guidance:
• 8.1 is all about event planning
• Funfairs are specifically mentioned, along with the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain, including a link to the Showmen’s Guild website page with downloadable existing guidance for writing your risk assessment.
• “Outdoor Event Planning” is the Guidance on local authorities to impose restrictions, which is a link to Statutory Guidance for England. It includes everything that both you and the council have to do and includes “best practice” to local authorities. It is important for you to know the details.
• In Item 8.2 “Guidance for local authorities”: their duties are explained and you need to know what they know – we are all using the same guidance. There is lots of useful detail here for both parties.
• Significantly it states:
o “Organised outdoor events should be permitted unless they pose a threat to public health, provided that they follow relevant guidance and adhere to all legal requirements.
o If local authorities are concerned about an event, they should discuss those concerns with the event organiser at the earliest possible opportunity, and should consider whether any mitigations could be put in place to alleviate risks, such as:
1. Reducing the number of attendees to allow full social distancing and minimise any burden on local transport systems.
2. Staggering entry times with other venues and taking steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas.
3. Arranging one-way travel routes between transport hubs and venues.
4. Advising patrons to avoid particular forms of transport or routes and to avoid crowded areas when in transit to the venue.”
• This is very different from a council just saying they don’t want organised outdoor events – and it is in the guidance that local authorities should engage in this discussion.
• Track & Trace is discussed; this will probably be the national scheme as before. “Create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue”.
• The “Good To Go” scheme is a useful confidence-boost for your customers as a UK-wide industry standard, that the Showmen’s Guild supports.
• Lateral Flow Tests: are designed to deliver targeted and focused, rapid testing for people without typical symptoms of Covid-19 but who may still be carrying the virus, undetected.
o The test does not require laboratory processing and takes just 30 minutes to produce a result.
o This may help boost confidence with local councils and local communities about your fair’s arrival.
o However, this imposes duties on you including having a dedicated staff-member administering the scheme.
o Apply before 31st March: details here.
• The Rule of Six is likely to be still in force
Please keep in touch with your Section office on the guidance in case there are updates and also to give them feedback on how your applications are received by local councils.