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Coronavirus Pandemic UK Step 4 Opening – A Quick Guide.

Andy Robertson

The UK’s Step Four roadmap to reopening was delayed from 21st June to 19th July this year. This has been a big blow for many event organisers with numerous music festivals cancelling 2021 altogether. With so much information circulating currently what are the key points of the government’s current plans?


Strep 4 of the roadmap to reopening in the UK is a significant crossroads as it is the point at which everything can return to normal with few or no restrictions in place. It is therefore a key turning point for the entire live events industry that this happens as soon as possible to ensure some kind of survival. The reason given by the government for the delay is to allow more time for their vaccination programme. As of the end of June some 44.5 million people have had a first vaccine dose (85% of the adult population) and 33 million have had a second dose. In addition to allowing more time for further vaccinations there has been a new variant of concern (Delta) that has caused clusters of infections in the UK.

Four Requirements for Step 4 Opening.
The government has stated that 4 requirements must be met for Step 4 to take place for the reopening to occur on 19
th July, however no specific numbers have been released relating to these 4 requirements so remain somewhat subjective: 

  • 1. The number of people in hospital.
  • 2. The speed of infection amongst the population.
  • 3. The chance of someone becoming seriously ill if infected.
  • 4. The number of people fully vaccinated. 

Events Research Programme. 
The recently published government ERP report monitored 19 events over the last 3 months with 58,000 people attending. The report is comprehensive in its findings although the key number of interest was that only 28 infections were found. There is currently a phase 2 ERP for numerous events taking place in the run up to 19th July. 

Next Steps.
Whilst the government has stated that it is fully committed to taking all necessary action to ensure Step 4 opening will take place there are still some concerns. There is a possibility that Step 4 could be delayed yet again although this would seem unlikely. Equally it may be difficult to see a full-blown reopening on the 19
th July. Perhaps the most likely outcome will be the majority of the country reopening on 19th July but with restrictions remaining in any specific regions that have clusters of concern. Although England, Scotland and Wales all have slightly different dates the principles of step 4 reopening are broadly similar. 

What is clear from the ERP report is that event organisers are going to have to work to a number of restrictions and protocols and while coronavirus infections still linger these are likely going to be the norm going forwards for some time. The music festival sector should get back to normalcy, working within any recommended protocols from August, however, it's worth checking daily numbers, statistics and government announcements because the situation remain very fluid. 

For organisers planning their music festival using a software management platform like
Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their festival logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Nandhu Kumar from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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