As I write this on July 18th. 2021, we are only a matter of hours from entering Step 4 of the Governments road map for dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic here in England, from tomorrow July 19th. it will no longer be a compulsory requirement to social distance or wear face masks, there will be an easing on most of the Covid regulations. you will be able to stand at the bar of a pub and order a pint again, most importantly, for us and our industry is that festivals and gigs are able to open and run at full capacity again.
For many, July 19th is known as Freedom Day, the day everything returned to normal, but wait for a minute, it's unfortunately not that simple, what we must remember is that you are still advised to wear face masks and carry out social distancing when you are indoors where the public are such as in shops, pubs, public transport, and crowded places.
Coronavirus regulations have been extended until the end of September that give powers to Public Health teams to “shut” events. We may see more festivals closed down if Public Health officials consider there to be a risk of Covid 19 spreading. They will use the same regulations that were used to close down so many events this summer.
We all thought and hoped that Covid 19 would only be with us a few months this year, sadly, this is not the case and I think we are going to suffer with it a lot longer. Vaccinations will not eradicate the virus, they will simply reduce the likelihood of being infected and lower the chances of serious effects and death, they should be accepted where ever possible.
Many parts of the world are still in full lockdown and way behind the UK when it comes to vaccinations, travel is obviously going to be a problem for some time yet and that is going to affect the touring sector as much as Brexit has.
The combined effects of Covid 19 and Brexit have caused major staff shortages in many areas including:
- Security and Stewarding
- Crowd Management
- Local Crew
- Marquee crew
- Audio, video, and lighting technicians
- Stage building crew
There is a shortage of medics because quarantine hotels have taken lots of them and event medical teams are short of crew, and the whole festival season has been compressed into a couple of months. Everyone wants to do their event at the same time as everyone else. Now is not the time to try and negotiate lower-priced services or crew – wages are on the increase. Already some suppliers are canceling bookings as they do not have the staff to fulfill contracts.
Quarantining is going to play havoc with staffing levels as anyone who comes into contact with a Covid 19 victim must quarantine.
The Health and Safety at Work Act has remained in place throughout the pandemic, this requires employers to have a Policy on Covid 19 and to carry out risk assessments for employees against its spread, ventilation, hand washing, sanitising, face masks and social distancing will be required controls in the work environment especially if you come into contact with the public. It still remains the best plan to cut down on travel, hold Zoom meetings and work from home where possible.
We must also remember there is no suitable cancellation insurance available for any tours or events that are canceled due to anything Covid related.
Stagesafe can help you to be compliant by producing your Cond 19 Health and Safety Policy and Risk Assessments as well as helping with the all-important implementation.
We also provide all required risk assessments, Policies, Covid 19 Self Declaration Forms, and documentation for all your operations, from office and warehouse to truck and stage or production.