Event organisers in Europe are enforcing strict health and safety protocols to prevent a repeat of last year’s lost summer for big events.
Although cancellations are still occurring (for example, Oktoberfest beer festival and Angouleme’s world-renowned comic books festival), many major events will go ahead. Here is an overview of their measures.
Rigorous safety protocols for major events
Two of this year’s most high-profile occasions - Eurovision and Euro 2020, offer a glimpse of how major events will be conducted in the foreseeable future.
The world's most popular live music event took place in Rotterdam in May after being cancelled last year. There was a limited audience (20% of the normal capacity of the arena) as part of a test programme being carried out in the Netherlands. All members of the audience had to follow strict health rules and present a negative Covid-19 test certificate upon arrival. However, they were not required to wear a mask.
For artists, crew and media there was an extensive testing programme, with everyone on site obligated to get tested every 48 hours.
UEFA EURO 2020
Euro 2020 finally started on 11 June – 12 months after it was originally scheduled. The pan-European tournament has reduced stadium capacities (except for Bucharest), strictly enforced Covid-19 safety protocols and a wide range of travel restrictions and testing requirements. Each of the 12 venues have their own health and safety measures and requirements for entry differ across the host cities.
Each ticket holder is assigned a dedicated 30-minute entry time slot to arrive at the stadium and needs to wear a face mask at all times. Other measures include temperature checks or rapid antigen tests.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, testing has played a crucial role in keeping track of cases and managing transmission rates.
Measures vary across countries and regions
Smaller events are also have to abide by local health and safety rules. Differences in the regulations exist not only between countries, but also between federal states within a country.
In Berlin for instance, each type of event has different rules. A negative test is required for outdoor cultural and entertainment events involving more than 250 participants. If the participants are moving around, they also must wear a medical mask.
Public events in closed rooms can take place with no more than 100 people. At such events with more than 10 people, all those involved must present a valid negative Covid-19 test, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery.
If an event is classified as a political rally or a demonstration, there are no limits to the number of attendees, but they must wear masks (surgical or FFP2) and keep a distance from each other.
Event organisers should check the relevant health and safety protocols in the region in which they want to stage an event.