Prime Minister Announces Plan For Return to Conference and Business Events in October

By Jess Browne-Swinburne

17 Jul 2020

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced plans for further easing of coronavirus restrictions, with business events and conferences commencing in October.

In a plan the PM said was “looking ahead with optimism” he outlined a number of easing in restrictions, including plans to allow conferences and other business events to recommence from October.

A key pillar of the plan also stated that “ministers will be able to close whole sectors or types of premises in an area, introduce local ‘stay at home’ orders, prevent people entering or leaving defined areas, reduce the maximum size of gatherings beyond national rules, or restrict transport...”

“From tomorrow, local authorities will have new powers in their areas. They will be able to close specific premises, shut public outdoor spaces, and cancel events” the Prime Minister added, and that all plans remained conditional on prevalence of the virus continuing to fall. "We will not hesitate at any stage to put on the brakes,” he said.

The plan has set out an ambition for a “significant return to normality from November at the earliest - possible in time for Christmas.”

PPA MD, Owen Meredith commented: “This is welcome news and sets out a clear road-map for publishers and their events businesses, which will be essential to planning for recovery.

“However, a lot of uncertainty remains. We urge the government to work with the industry to help build the necessary confidence in consumers and delegates to ensure events attendance and viability. 

"For publishers and events businesses to effectively invest now, protect jobs and plan for the future, the government needs to provide greater clarity and financial security for event organisers. It is simply not possible for publishers and events businesses, already battered by coronavirus and the economic downturn, to bare all the risk of an event being cancelled at the last minute, due to imposition of local restrictions. Without proper government support, October's re-opening will be a meaningless date in the diary.”