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What the latest tiers mean for the live events industry

The UK is entering a tiered lockdown

Article updated: 03/20/20

DCMS have now clarified what is allowed under the new Tier guidelines, as follows:

Business events, elite sports, and live performances in performance venues will all operate under restrictions of a cap of 50% capacity or 4000 people, whichever is lower in Tier 1 and a cap of 50% or 2000 people, whichever is lower in Tier 2. The cap does not include venue or site staff.


In Tier 3 outdoor business events and sporting events are not permitted unless they are drive-in.


All other outdoor events such as funfairs and fairgrounds, car boot sales, and literary fairs are permitted across all tiers and are not subject to these caps, but they must follow all relevant COVID-Secure guidance.

Here’s what the guidance, as outlined by NOEA, includes:

Tier 1

  • Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  • Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors

Tier 2

  • Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  • Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors

Tier 3

  • There should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators
  • Large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events

For further details on the local restriction tiers and what rules are in place, click here.