Guidance for people wishing to hold events in Gateshead during Covid-19 restrictions
We are experiencing a fast moving and unpredictable rise in COVID-19 infection in our communities at this time. This makes it difficult to provide any certainty about whether it is safe to hold any form of event.
Gateshead Council has a statutory responsibility to protect the health and wellbeing of the local population, but also wishes to support businesses through this uncertain period.
The latest information from Government can be found on the Government's Coronavirus (COVID‑19) page
Escalation in precautions due to increasing cases of disease
Gateshead, as one of seven North East local authorities (the others being Newcastle, Sunderland, South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Durham, and Northumberland) have requested national intervention in order to better contain the spread of infection.
Restrictions on gatherings in England are governed by general regulations, currently The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 and The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020. (the No.2 and No.3 regulations)
These general regulations give councils and the police powers to stop gatherings and events, and to close premises, if they consider this to be necessary to stop the spread of the disease.
It becomes more likely that these powers are justified for use when an area's infection rate rises to the high levels we see in Gateshead and the surrounding area at this time.
However, the national intervention requested provides further powers to impose localised restrictions in the form of a 'local lockdown'. A list of local arrangements can be found on the North East of England: local restrictions page
These local lockdown restrictions are considerably more restrictive than those under the No.2 and No.3 regulations, and are very much a last resort to gain control over infection levels.
Advice to event planners
At the current time it looks unlikely that any form of gathering should be organised in Gateshead, particularly if the organiser stands to lose money or reputation by the cancellation of the event at some point, possibly very shortly beforehand.
As we are currently unable to predict how infection levels will be for the next 2-3 months at least, we cannot offer any encouragement for organisers to invest their time and effort in planning local events. Because of this we ask potential organisers to fully consider the risks involved, and to talk to a member of our events team before committing any time or money into arranging an event here, whether that be on private, public or common land.
We cannot guarantee that an event planned to take place at some time in the future will not be cancelled when COVID 19 infection rates are at elevated levels.