Member login

COVID-19 and Events

Large gatherings have been banned around the world to avoid further spreading of COVID-19. This page is a collection of key information about the impact of the virus outbreak on events for the benefit of major event hosts and will be regularly updated.

This page has been updated on 21st May 2020 and is only intended as a general summary of national responses to COVID-19.  For detailed and specific information, please visit the official sources of each nation.

• The outbreak of Coronavirus COVID-19 presents the tourism sector with a major and evolving challenge.
• The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has strengthened its collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). The two UN agencies met in Geneva to further advance a coordinated response to COVID-19.
• UNWTO calls for solid international leadership and for tourism to be included as a priority in future recovery efforts.

Sporting, cultural and industry events that have been canceled, postponed or moved online due to the coronavirus outbreak.

This document provides a COVID-19 risk assessment and mitigation checklist for use by host countries and mass gathering organizers.
THIS SPORTS ADDENDUM has been developed to provide additional support to sports event organizers in assessing the specific additional risks, identifying mitigation activities and making an informed evidence-based decision on continuing to host any sporting event.


AUSTRALIA – Australian Health Protection Principal Committee
Guidance as of 09/05/2020
A set of National Principles as well as the Australian Institute of Sport’s (AIS) Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment, will guide a staged resumption of sport and recreation in Australia.
The National Principles will make clear how sport and recreational activities can only occur. Stringent public and personal health measures will need to be in place.
Sport and recreation activities will resume in stages, guided by the Framework. This applies to high performance, community, and individual activities.
A specialist COVID-19 Sports and Health Committee will also be established. It will include relevant sports medicine and health experts from the AIS, sports, and governments to monitor and support the resumption process. It will report to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.
See this news article on Australian states and territories’ plans in response to the new National Principles.

BELGIUM – Belgian Government
Guidance as of 11/05/2020
On 24th April Belgium has outlined its coronavirus exit strategy. However, regardless of the de-confinement phase, certain measures will remain in force. The exist strategy is divided phases: phase 1a (4th May), phase 1b (11th May), phase 2 (18th May), phase 3 (8th June).
As of 11th May – Current phase (1b): Cafes, bars, restaurants and festivity halls, recreational, cultural and tourist sites will remain closed in this phase. The future of sports competitions will be clarified in the short term.

CANADA – Public Health Authority of Canada
Guidance as of 11/05/2020
In Canada, the easing of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic is determined by each individual province or territory. A number of provincial governments have announced how they plan to gradually ease restrictions with a view to eventually fully reopening their provinces. In most cases, restrictions on public gatherings will only start to be eased in more advanced phases of the exit strategy. Large public gatherings such as concerts and sporting events will continue to be restricted in the foreseeable future.

DENMARK: Danish Police
Guidance as of 11/05/2020
The Danish Police – Current affairs on behalf of the MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF DENMARK introduces
• A
 temporarily ban on staging or participating in events, activities ect where more than 10 people are gathered. The ban is on both indoor and outdoor events and embraces public and private events.
• A temporarily lock down of all indoor sporting and recreational facilities including for example swimming pools.
The Danish police has been given authority to intervene and to break up gatherings exceeding 10 people, when they assess the need to do so.
The period of this temporary ban has been extended until the beginning of June 2020. Thereafter, the number of people involved is increased to 30 – 50 persons.
In regards to large events, activities etc., the Government has extended this temporary ban for groups of more than 500 participants until 31 August 2020.
Other helpful links: #covid19dk

DUBAI – UAE Government
Guidance as of 20/04/2020
On 15 March 2020, the UAE Football Association has postponed the main sport competitions in the UAE with immediate effect and until further notice.
On 19 March 2020, the General Authority of Sports (GAS) suspended all sports activities including tournaments and competitions across all sports.

FINLAND – Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
Guidance as of 14/04/2020
The Government, together with the President of the Republic, have declared a state of emergency in Finland. All gatherings of over 10 people have been banned by the Regional State Administrative Agencies. The Government has also decided that all national and municipal museums, theatres, cultural venues, libraries, hobby and leisure centres, swimming pools and other sports facilities, youth centres etc. will be closed. Private and third-sector operators are advised to do the same.
On Monday evening (30 March), the Finnish government decided to extend the emergency legislation for a month until 13 May.

FRANCE – French Government
Guidance as of 11/05/2020
France has cautiously begun to lift its lockdown, with millions back in work after eight weeks of restrictions. Gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed, and the elderly and vulnerable will be allowed outside.
• Mass gatherings are banned until mid July.
• Tour de France has been postponed to start on 29 August.

Guidance as of 11/05/2020
On 6th May: Germany’s 16 federal states will assume responsibility for easing coronavirus restrictions, as long as they swiftly respond to new rises in infections. Governments have agreed to limit their actions based on new infections, meaning that if a district or city records more than 50 new cases per 100,000 residents during a seven-day period, the region must reintroduce tougher measures.
On 7th May: The federal and state governments have granted permission for a resumption of matches without spectators in the Bundesliga from the second half of May onwards.
Public gatherings of more than two people are banned throughout Germany.
Major events are prohibited in principle until August 31. 

JAPAN – Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
Guidance as of 08/05/2020
The nationwide state of emergency has been extended until the 31st of May.
Designated prefectures will strongly make requests not to hold events at places where clusters could emerge or have gatherings under the 3- Cs (closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings) circumstances, especially in case of nation-wide or large events and gatherings.
On 30/03/2020: The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan today agreed new dates for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, in 2021. The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be celebrated from 23 July to 8 August 2021. They also agreed on new dates for the paralympic games, which will be celebrated from 24 August until 5 September 2021.

NETHERLANDS – Government of the Netherlands
Guidance as of 11/05/2020
The government has extended most measures until 19 May inclusive. Primary schools, including special primary schools, and childcare centres for children aged 0 to 4 and childminders will reopen on 11 May. The ban on events that require a permit has been extended to 1 September 2020.
In the weeks ahead various sectors will make plans for how they could reopen fully or partially in a 1.5-metre society.

NEW ZEALAND – Ministry of Health
Guidance as of 11/05/2020
New Zealand is currently at Alert Level 3. At Alert Level 3, large mass gatherings are cancelled and public venues are closed. Small gatherings of up to 10 people for religious services, wedding ceremonies, civil union services, or funerals are allowed for the service only and food or drink can’t be served. The limit of 10 people includes any celebrant, organiser or other assistant. All indoor and outdoor events must not proceed unless they are a religious service, wedding ceremony, civil union service, or funeral of 10 people or fewer.
Alert Level 2
: The Government has announced New Zealand will move from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm on Wednesday 13 May. Initially gatherings like weddings, funerals, tangihanga, religious ceremonies and social gatherings can have up to 10 people.

NORWAY – Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Guidance as of 11/05/2020
It is allowed to have events in public places for up to 50 people.
• This will apply where it is possible to keep a distance of at least one metre between people who do not live in the same household.
• This applies only to events in a public place with a responsible organiser who has an overview of who is present.
• A responsible organiser is important to ensure rapid contact tracing if needed and that advice about social distance and infection control is followed.
• The organiser shall introduce measures so that sick people do not participate in the event and make it possible to maintain hygiene.
• The employee or contractor who is responsible for the event in a public place shall not be counted as a participant of the event.

Events include:
1. sporting event, including tournaments, cups and matches, but not organised sports activities in the form of training.
2. cultural events, including concerts, exhibition openings, opera, ballet, theatre and cinema.
3. other events, including seminars, birthdays, weddings, funerals, religious gatherings, etc. By public place is meant a place intended for public transport or a place where the public travels.
Public place means a place with general access or where the public has access.

Events with 51-499 people: Until further notice, events with 51 or more people are prohibited. From 15th June, events for up to 200 people (from 50 people) will be allowed, depending on the infection status. The possibility to increase from 200 up to 500 people will be assessed month by month.

SCOTLAND – The Scottish Government
Guidance as of 11/05/2020
To make sure people are staying at home and apart from each other, the Scottish Government is stopping all public gatherings of more than 2 people.
There are only exceptions to this rule for very limited purposes:
• where the gathering is of a group of people who live together – this means that a parent can, for example, take their children to the shops if there is no option to leave them at home
• where the gathering is essential for work purposes, or to fulfil legal obligations  – but workers should try to minimise all meetings and other gathering/s in the workplace
In addition, the Scottish Government is stopping social events, including weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies. This excludes funerals, which can be attended by close family, other members of the person’s household. If no family member or member of the same household is able to attend, a friend living in a separate household can attend.

SPAIN – Spanish Government Statement
Guidance as of 08/05/2020
The government of Spain extended the state of emergency until 24th May and agreed on de-escalation procedure.
Spain outlined a four-stage plan on 4 May to start rolling back one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe. Restrictions will be eased in two-week blocks until 10 June, but only in some parts of the country. Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, Malaga and some regions in the north-east will stay under full lockdown for the moment.
Schools will be partially reopened from 26 May. This will allow for revision classes and state exams but a full reopening is not expected until September
• From 11 May, customers can order a beer in a terrace bar but bars and restaurants will not fully reopen until 10 June, adhering to strict social distancing guidelines and only at 50% capacity
• Cinemas, theatres and exhibitions will be allowed to open from 26 May, but will only be allowed to operate at 30% capacity. Outdoor concerts of up to 400 people will be permitted if concert-goers remain at a safe distance from each other
Churches and mosques can reopen from 11 May, but only at partial capacity
Government: urgent measures to fight Covid-19’s social and economic impact (BOE 17 March)

SWEDEN – The Swedish Government
Guidance as of 06/04/2020
The government has decided to limit public gatherings from 500 people to 50 people. Anyone who violates the decision risk fine or imprisonment for up to six months. The new guidelines applies from 29 March 2020 and is valid until further notice. Read more here (in Swedish only).

SWITZERLAND – Federal Office of Public Health
Guidance as of 21/04/2020
The Federal Council has banned public and private events. This also includes sporting events and club activities. All establishments open to the public will be closed.
The Federal Council is extending the ban on gatherings in public spaces of more than five people. Public spaces include squares, promenades and parks. If five or fewer people meet, they must maintain a distance of two metres from one another. Anyone not complying with this rule will be fined. The ban applies until 10 May.

THAILAND – Ministry of Public Health, Department of Disease Control
Guidance as of 02/04/2020
All events have been cancelled including cultural events such as the full moon parties and Songkran celebrations. Mass gatherings have been prohibited to respect physical distancing measures.
On 2nd April, Thailand’s prime minister announced new measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus including a night curfew. Measures instituted before the announcement, including shutting down all schools, postponing a major three-day holiday, and allowing provincial governors to close any gathering spaces and closely regulate travel, are still valid.

UNITED KINGDOM – The UK Government
Guidance as of 11/05/2020
Over the coming months, the UK Government will introduce a range of adjustments to current social distancing controls. These will happen in “steps”.
Each step may involve adding new adjustments to the existing restrictions or taking some adjustments further. For example, while reopening outdoor spaces and activities (subject to continued social distancing) comes earlier in the roadmap because the risk of transmission outdoors is significantly lower, it is likely that reopening indoor public spaces and leisure facilities (such as gyms and cinemas), premises whose core purpose is social interaction (such as nightclubs), venues that attract large crowds (like sports stadia), and personal care establishments where close contact is inherent (like beauty salons) may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in numbers of infections. The precise timetable for these adjustments will depend on the infection risk at each point, and the effectiveness of the Government’s mitigation measures like contact tracing.
At step 1
(current until end of May) the current ban on public gatherings remain in place.
At step 2 (no earlier than 1st June) cultural and sporting events will be allowed to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.
At step 3 (no earlier than 4th July) the ambition is to open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close but some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to re-open safely at this point, or may be able to open safely only in part.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Centres for disease control and preventions
Guidance as of 29/03/2020
Centres for Disease Control, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.
US President Donald Trump said at a White House news conference (16th March): “my administration is recommending that all Americans, including the young and healthy, work to engage in schooling from home when possible, avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people, avoid discretionary travel and avoid eating and drinking at bars, restaurants and public food courts.”


Message from IAEH Director Iain Edmondson to the Event Hosts community (Yorkshire, UK. 20th March 2020):

Please Log in