Spectator safety: preparing for increased public demand following the Government roadmap announcements

Following the recent Government announcement, outlining a near four-month roadmap to lift England out of its third lockdown, businesses and venues may now be able to start preparing for a surge in demand from the public, as we start to look forward to some form of ‘normality’.

The four-step plan outlines a phased easing of restrictions on schooling, socialising, non-essential retail, hospitality businesses, events, and spectator venues, completing the process no earlier than June 21, subject to specific criteria being met at each stage. Whilst in certain quarters some are rightly cautious about these plans, there is no doubting it brings a sense of hope for the many thousands of people working in these sectors.

The roadmap starts to provide some guidance for businesses and venues that are currently restricted and may enable employers to begin vital preparation for ensuring their workforce are ready to return safely, when given the green light. This includes hundreds of roles in the spectator events and sports sector, from Security and Stewarding, to Catering and Facilities Management.

Steward working at large spectator event.

All going to plan, the roadmap provides a course of action that will allow spectator venues to open their doors in late Spring, providing a timeline for employers to recruit, train and certificate their staff for the inevitable demand from the public.

In Step 3 of the roadmap, it is suggested that no earlier than May 17:

  • Larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues, with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is lower) will also be allowed, as will those in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4000 people or half-full (whichever is lower).
  • In the largest outdoor seated venues where crowds can spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower).

Spectator safety is going to be paramount for employers to ensure the public feel secure and confident in attending upcoming events. Not just in relation to hygiene standards and reducing the risk from Covid-19, but also all the usual expectations of paying customers, and vitally that staff will have the relevant skills and knowledge to manage larger crowds, after over a year of restrictions.

What can you do to prepare for re-opening and ensure spectator safety?

  • Assessing skills is going to be paramount to understanding the training needs for your workforce. A robust plan to assess, or re-assess existing staff, to ensure training is up to date, will help employers have the confidence that the workforce has retained the required knowledge to safely operate.
  • Host re-introduction webinars with your workforce. Whilst meeting in person just yet is not quite on the table; employers can host virtual events and webinars with new or existing team members, to prepare for the challenges ahead. Staff can even be Certificated when they attend a webinar, or event, with our SFJ Awards Certificate of Attendance, giving them the confidence to return to the workplace.
  • Train new recruits and up-skill your existing workforce. With our range of Spectator Safety, First Aid, Facilities Management and Customer Service qualifications available, employers can use this time to up-skill the existing workforce to prepare them to return to work, or train new recruits ahead of the Summer surge in demand.

Here at SFJ Awards, we welcome the Government roadmap to help venues and event organisers effectively plan a ‘return to work’ training and implementation programme, ahead of a rise in public demand for sports, music, and much more.

Our team can support a wide range of employers, training providers and our existing centres to provide qualifications and relevant training for both those new to the sector, and those returning following long-term closures of venues.

Get in touch to see how else we can support your return-to-work programme of training for events and spectator venues.

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