Whether you are planning a street party, a village fete or music festival for thousands of visitors, if you are the organiser you must plan for and manage safety at your event and that includes considering risks from respiratory illness at the present time.

COVID-19 guidance for events

Although restrictions have been lifted, COVID-19 is still a risk and as with other infectious diseases. It’s important to bear in mind the risks associated with these and put in place appropriate measures for your event and plan accordingly. We can all play a part in understanding the situations where risks of infection and transmission are likely to be higher and take action to reduce these risks to help keep us all safer.

While no situation is risk free, there are easy and effective actions that can be taken to protect individuals and the guidance sets out a range of mitigations that should be considered including:

  • Indoor areas such as tents and marquees should be adequately ventilated.
  • Ensuring that staff and customers who are unwell do not attend the event.
  • Providing hand washing facilities and sanitiser to enable staff and customers to clean their hands more frequently, and cleaning surfaces that people touch regularly.
  • Promoting the wearing of a face covering or a face mask in enclosed spaces and encourage tolerance and respect for members of the community that chose to continue to wear them.
  • Communicating to staff and customers the measures you have put in place.

Please see the links below to the latest Public Health Guidance that provides practical considerations on how to apply different measures within different settings.

The Purple Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Music and Other Events

The New Purple Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Music and Other Events aims to help those who organise music or similar events, so that the events can run safely. As an employer, the event organiser – whether an individual, collective or local authority – has a general duty to ensure, as reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees. They also have a duty to ensure, as reasonably practicable, that others – including volunteers and spectators – are not exposed to risks to their health and safety arising from the operation of the event.

In some areas, the Purple Guide signposts users to other sources of information that may be helpful. At time of publication all the links were checked, and it is intended that these will be regularly updated and amended if necessary. The New Purple Guide can be accessed here: The Purple Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Music and Other Events

Smaller events and Volunteers

Due to the complexity of organising a wide range of events, the Purple Guide contains a large amount of detail, which may not always be relevant for some smaller events. Organisers running modest scale events may wish to also refer to the Health and Safety Executive event safety webpage.  

Safety Advisory Group

Somerset Council formed the Safety Advisory Group to bring together people who specialise in safety at events to provide a platform where event organiser can be given advice and guidance. It is made up of representatives from Somerset Council and partners such as Avon and Somerset Police, South West Ambulance Service, Somerset Fire and Rescue, and Trading Standards. Its aim is to standardise the approach to all organised events which are open to the public and are staged in a public place, on a highway, or on private, or council owned land within Somerset.

The Safety Advisory Group holds monthly meetings to which organisers of larger events with around 500 or more attendees are generally invited. Smaller events located close to large roads, motorways or events with dangerous activities are also of interest. If you would like advice for your event, please complete our online form and attach your Event Management Plan and Risk Assessments.

Please complete our online event notification form it will then be sent out to the core members of the Safety Advisor Group. You may be asked to a meeting if they think your event would benefit from their expertise.  If you would like to contact the Safety Advisor Group, please phone 0300 303 8588 or email

Temporary Event Notice (TEN)

A Temporary Event Notice is given to an individual and authorises them to conduct one or more licensable activities for no more than 96 hours. Temporary event notices can be used to authorise small-scale events held at any one time, subject to certain restrictions.

If you want to hold a public event that involves the retail sale of alcohol, the provision of regulated entertainment or the provision of hot food or hot drink served between 11pm and 5am, you can do so using a temporary event notice. 

Risk assessment

Whatever the size of your event you will have to think about what hazards are associated with your event. This includes who might be harmed and what you can do to eliminate the hazard or reduce the likelihood of harm to a reasonable level. The risk assessment should help you plan for your event and to produce an event management plan.

Please see our Risk assessment template to help you plan for your event.  

Event management plan

The key to a good event is a strong event management plan. This should be a detailed, accurate and comprehensive document. It should set out exactly what will happen at the event, the procedures in place to manage it safely, and what will be done to deal with expected or unexpected situations and emergencies.

We have produced some guidance documents to assist you in planning:

Food at the event

You do not need any special permission to provide food at a street party or community event, but if you are selling food or engaging food traders to come to your event then food hygiene legislation will apply.

Whether you are attending a community party or hosting one of your own, it is important to be aware of food safety and hygiene as food legislation may still apply. Please visit How to safely host a street party | Food Standards Agency for some practical tips and advice on best practice so that everyone can trust the food they’re eating.

If you are organising an event with catering or running a food stall, please see our Catering at shows and events document for more information.

If you are preparing food at home, then do follow the simple advice on the Food Standards Agency website for how to prepare food safety.

First Aid Cover

Your event risk assessment should help you decide whether you need to have first aid cover and what that needs to be.

For small community-based events like fetes and street parties, you do not have to provide first aid for the public, but it is a good idea to have a first aid kit to hand and someone prepared to take charge in the event of an emergency.

Public liability insurance

It is a good idea to have public liability insurance to cover your event.

If you are engaging contractors whether to put up a marquee, provide a bouncy castle, or run a food stall you should check that they have public liability insurance in place. Somerset Council requires all hirers of their land to have cover, but for community run very small events it may not be necessary. 

Road closures

If you would like to close a road for an event, permission is required.

Road Closures for special events are provided under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 Section 21. These events can vary in size from a small village fete to a large carnival, festival or procession.

See our Apply for a road closure for an event page for more information.

Events on Council land

You will need permission to hold an event on Council owned land.

See our Booking events and permits page for more information.


Follow the guidance when running your own or organising a display for the public. Visit HSE – Organising firework displays and GOV.UK – Fireworks: the law for more information.

Last reviewed: April 11, 2023 by Qi

Next review due: October 11, 2023

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