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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

Public events planning

COVID-19 risk assessments

If you are organising an event where the public are invited to attend, you must carry out event specific risk assessments.

You'll need to submit the risk assessments to our Safety Advisory Group (SAG) along with the normal event management documents. The SAG can then advise us and you if the event complies with current regulations and guidance.

Safety Advisory Group (SAG)

The SAG provides an informal process which can offer you guidance and advice on your event. It is not a statutory role. SAG members include council services and partner agencies.

We recommended that you contact the SAG if you are planning an event that involves a large number of spectators, road closures or excessive noise.

How the SAG can help

The SAG can help event organisers:

  • to promote best practice in holding events
  • by pointing out any potential amendments, omissions or improvements
  • to provide feedback on event proposals at an early stage so that there is plenty of time for you to address any areas of concern

You can email the SAG with your event documentation for review and comment. You may also be invited to attend a formal SAG meeting. 

Minimum notification for events

To allow enough time for consideration of proposals, we recommend the following minimum notification periods:

  • 3 months for events for less than 500 attendees
  • 6 months for events for 500 to 1,000 attendees
  • 9 months for events for 1,000 to 5,000 attendees
  • 12 months for events for more than 5,000 attendees

Event guidance

All large events in the Dorset Council area have existing relationships with their respective SAGs, however if you are planning a new event and are in search of guidance, there are a number of tools available which can help you to document you procedures for both normal operation (steady state) of the event as well as during an emergency (crisis state).

General guidance for larger events

The Purple Guide - the essential guide to event organising. Please note there is a £25 subscription fee to access the information on this website

West Dorset guidance for organisers of large events - aimed at events of more than 500 people

Understanding crowd behaviours - these reports provide planners with clear direction, and supporting information, about the assumptions that can reasonably be made about crowd behaviour

Water guidelines for festivals - this guidance is useful for any event that is supplying water

General guidance for small-scale events

Local small events guide - based on the principles of health and safety management and risk assessment

Specific guidance

Guidance for events with bonfires or fireworks

Guidance for planning street parties

Guidance for organising a voluntary event

Guidance for holding cycling events

The Purbeck Cycling Plan

Balloon and Sky Lantern Release Policy 2018 - North Dorset

Balloon and Sky Lantern Release Policy 2018 - West Dorset

Balloon and Sky Lantern Release Policy 2018 - Weymouth and Portland

Contact the SAG

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