On 9th March, The Events Industry Forum (of which we are members) sent a letter to government requesting a meeting to address the potential impact of COVID-19 on our industry. We will keep you up to date with any responses and developments as and when they happen.
This is the AIF’s guidance regarding Insurance specifically is as follows:
AIF (Association for Independent Festivals) is advised that all event cancellation insurance policies that are bound from now on (until further notice) will have the below (or a similar) exclusion in them. Insurance brokers are being told by underwriters that this is mandatory and non-negotiable until more is known about the virus.
Communicable disease is a standard exclusion in all contingency insurance policies and very few festival organisers have historically bought the additional cover. A few festivals (mainly worried about foot and mouth disease) have previously bought the cover.
Brokers can still provide communicable disease cover and it will include foot and mouth and other diseases but will now include the following (or a similar) exclusion.
Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, this policy excludes losses:
(i) directly or indirectly arising from any fear or threat (whether actual or perceived) of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or any mutant variation thereof
(ii) directly or indirectly caused by, resulting from or in connection with any action taken in controlling, preventing, suppressing or in any way relating to any outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or any mutant variation thereof
(iii) directly or indirectly caused by the imposition of quarantine or restriction in movement of people or animals by any national or international body or agency pertaining to any outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or any mutant variation thereof
(iv) directly or indirectly caused by any travel advisory or warning being issued by a national or international body or agency pertaining to any outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or any mutant variation thereof and in respect of (ii) to (iv) any fear or threat thereof (whether actual or perceived).”
The most recent statement from EIF is:
On 2nd March 2020, members of the Events Industry Forum (EIF) joined a conference call with the Deputy Chief Medical officer with regards to the potential risks of Coronavirus to events. The advice was as follows:
- There is some evidence that it is very rare for those under 25 to get Coronavirus.
- The vast majority of those catching Coronavirus will suffer not more than typical cold symptoms and then get better. Recovery is about a week.
- A small proportion of people – those with underlying symptoms (diabetics etc) and elderly over 60 – at greater risk. The main risk is severe pneumonia.
- 98% of those catching Coronavirus will just get better.
- The most likely places for the virus to spread are in the home, at school or in the workplace.
- It is highly unlikely people will pick up the virus walking in the street or shopping etc.
- Transmission is generally by close contact.
- Equally it is less likely they will pick the virus up at outdoor events than on a crowded underground or in a packed pub after a football match.
- There is currently no plan to ban any events in the UK.
- Washing hands is important.
- Generally, the advice is that people should continue to go about their normal lives but if they feel unwell they should stay at home.
- Government may issue specific advice for vulnerable groups, but nothing is planned at the moment.
- It is unlikely that the UK Government will follow others in banning events, such as football matches, as the risk of catching the virus is low and they are keen for people to continue to live their lives normally.
The most recent statement from AFO is:
The advice from The Association of Independent Festivals mirrors that of the government. Chair of the AIF, Steve Heap told us: “What we are saying is do not cancel anything. And if HM government use their war footing powers to stop public events, then we will recommend postponement, NOT cancellations, so that events can transfer business to next year, or later in the year if possible.”
A total of 13,525 people in the UK had been tested for Covid-19 at the time of writing. 13,485 of those cases were confirmed to be negative, whilst 40 were positive.
UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk in the UK from low to moderate. We will be updating our members on changes in figures and risk as they happen. In the meantime, general information regarding Covid-19, i.e. numbers of cases etc. are available via www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-infmation-for-the-public.
Up to date information regarding UK events can be found at: www.festivalorganisers.org/news
We understand that this is a difficult time for you and leaves our sector in an uncertain position.
We will update you as soon as we have more information and, in the meantime, we will continue to liaise with government and industry associations to give you as much guidance as possible.