We are now into Step 4 of the Government's road map for dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic here in England, since July 19th, 2021 and it looks like a new variant may change things like wearing maks again and social distancing. there may be further changes to most of the Covid regulations. very soon you may not 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 may be stopped again or only run at a lower capacity, we just do not know what may happen.
For many, July 19th was 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 were extended until the 27th of September that gave powers to Public Health teams to “shut” events. We may see more festivals and gigs 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 during the earlier part of the 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, I have a friend who is a sound engineer who has Covid once in the UK, he had been double jabbed yet he still got Covid for a second time and hit knocked him senseless. We hope that vaccination will reduce the likelihood of being infected and lower the chances of serious effects and death, they should still 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 cancelling bookings as they do not have the staff to fulfil 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.
There is now a suitable Government-backed cancellation insurance scheme available for any tours or events that are cancelled due to anything Covid related, this will be valid from late September.
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 Covid 19 Self Declaration Forms, and documentation for all your operations, from office and warehouse to truck, stage, or production.