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Face masks now mandatory in England’s conference venues

The Government has announced that it is now mandatory to wear face masks which cover your mouth and nose when inside conference and event venues.

The announcement comes a few weeks after the Government announced that exhibition and conference centres in England can host business meetings and events for up to 30 people.

Anyone entering any of the listed premises on the Government website will be expected to wear a face covering before entering and to keep it on until they leave unless there is a reasonable excuse for removing it.

Reasonable excuses to remove a face covering in exhibition halls and conference centres, as listed on the website, include:

  • If asked to do so by staff or relevant employees for identification,
  • In order to take medication

Face coverings are also not required to be worn in restaurants with table service. If removing your face covering to eat or drink in an indoor premise with a cafe or designated seating area, then you can remove your face covering in this area only. However, face coverings must be put back on once you leave the seating area.

Larger business events and conferences will be permitted to resume from 1 October provided rates of Covid-19 infection do not rise. The Government released the following guidance for the events industry to follow in order for the safe resumption business events:

  • Attendees will need to pre-book and pre-register to attend events
  • Contactless registration systems will be introduced at venues to reduce waiting times and limit contact between organisers and guests
  • A digital-first approach will be adopted to eliminate the need for physical badges and lanyards
  • Paper handouts and gifts will no longer be offered
  • Entrance to event or conference spaces will be staggered to reduce queuing and overall capacity will be limited to ensure social distancing can be maintained
  • Events will be planned around one-way systems for visitors
  • Spaces between exhibition booths will be increased and aisles widened to achieve social distancing requirements
  • All venues will also have enhanced cleaning procedures, with hand washing and sanitising facilities at frequent intervals