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Events safety information for organisers


We advise anyone planning an event to consult with our County Durham Safety Advisory Group (SAG), which offers advice and support to ensure your event is a safe event.

Covid-19 information

Organising an event 

Event organisers should still be cautious and continue to consider how the potential of risk of Covid-19 could be reduced when planning an indoor and/or outdoor event - particularly as we move into the winter season. Please be aware that the Gov.uk: Local authority powers to impose restrictions: Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.3) Regulations 2020 will continue to apply until the end of 24 March 2022. The powers, which may be used up to the date of expiry, grant powers to local authorities to make directions which respond to a serious and imminent threat to public health.

Covid-19 health and safety risk assessment 

For all events, it is recommended that event organisers complete a Covid-19 health and safety risk assessment to demonstrate the measures that will be in place to mitigate the potential transmission of Covid-19. This risk assessment should be submitted to SAG in line with other documentation or included as part of the overall event risk assessment document.

To help support the development of a Covid-19 health and safety risk assessment, It is recommended that all event organisers review and consider the updated step 4 guidance for working safely during coronavirus.  

This guidance is informed by the findings of the Events Research Programme, which conducted research at pilot events (including sport, theatre, live music and business events) to establish how transmission risks can be reduced and managed. It includes advice for event organisers on how to manage risks to ensure that events can take place safely.

The guidance can be used to consider the risks within an event and decide which mitigations are appropriate to adopt.  There is a specific section on event planning and 6 key priority actions outlined: 

  1. Complete a health and safety risk assessment that includes risks from Covid-19
  2. Turn people with Covid-19 symptoms away
  3. Provide adequate ventilation
  4. Clean more often
  5. Enable people to check in at your venue
  6. Communicate and train

risk assessment template is available and can be used in line with the events and attractions guidance to help event organisers reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission at events.

NHS COVID Pass

Consider using the NHS COVID Pass to reduce the risk of transmission at your venue or event.

The NHS COVID Pass allows people to demonstrate that they are at a lower risk of carrying Covid-19 and transmitting it to others, through vaccination, testing or natural immunity. It can help organisations to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

Lateral flow device testing

Event organisers may want to consider asking staff, volunteers and attendees to undertake a lateral flow test within 48 hours of attending an event. These are not mandatory, but are an additional step of reducing any potential spread of the virus. Details on the how the free tests can be accessed can be found at testing for people without symptoms.

Use of face coverings

Although face coverings are no longer required by law, the government expect and recommend that people should continue to wear them in crowded and enclosed settings, to protect themselves and others. Where worn correctly, this can reduce the risk of transmission. Event organisers may want to encourage customers, visitors, staff and volunteers to wear face coverings (through signage for example) if your facility or event is likely to include enclosed and crowded spaces.

Useful links

The following links may help you make sure your event is Covid-19 secure:

National Government guidance

Guidance from national bodies 

If you have any further questions in relation to Covid-19 and planning your event, please contact us.

Tell us about your event

If you notify us of your proposed event, SAG will provide relevant guidance and feedback. For large events (more than 500 people), please contact us with your event details at least six months before the event takes place. For smaller events (less than 500 people), this should be at least three months before the event takes place. 

About SAG

SAG is made up of members from Durham County Council, the police, the fire and rescue service and the ambulance service. SAG's role is to promote and encourage high standards of public safety and wellbeing at events held in County Durham.

SAG has an additional duty on our behalf to ensure that any event which is to be held on our land has all appropriate safety measures and legal certification in place before permission is granted to use the land for the event. A minimum of £5million public liability insurance is required for all events, except for fireworks events which require a minimum of £10million.

Events on council land

If your event is to be held on council land you must contact us at Asset Management - events and we will assist you in gaining permission. A minimum of six weeks advance notice is required to arrange a Licence to Occupy and a minimum fee of £50 will be charged to cover some of the cost in producing this. The Licence to Occupy application can only be processed following Health and Safety approval. 

National Counter Terrorism Security Office guidance

As part of organising your event it's important to consider security. To help event/ security managers, the National Counter Terrorism Security Office have issued guidance on increasing the protection of crowded places from a terrorist attack:

Contact us
Event safety
03000 261016
Our address is:
  • Safety Advisory Group
  • Community Protection
  • PO Box 617
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 9HZ

Asset Management - events
Our address is:
  • Asset Management - events
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UL