The Prime Minister insisted that the new rules – which will come into force in England on Monday – would “keep our economy going, keep our schools open, and keep this virus under control”.
The PM says it’s as it sounds: You must not “meet socially” in groups of more than six.
He said if people do “You will be breaking the law.”
Mr Johnson said: “This will apply in any setting, indoors or outdoors, at home or in the pub. The ban will be set out in law and it will be enforced by the police – anyone breaking the rules risks being dispersed, fined and possibly arrested.”
So what does this mean as far as parties and events are concerned?
The new rule of six pretty much cancels the opportunity to DJ at a garden party, that is unless you want to a) play to a group of 5 people or b) risk being fined and possibly arrested.
DJ’ing pubs and bars can continue as long as the venue is COVID-secure (i.e. following the guidelines as set out by the Government) and the music must continue to be at a background level so that people, when speaking, do not have to shout.
Events like wedding fayres are allowed to go ahead, again, as long as they are COVID-secure.
For weddings ONLY, such events are exempt from the new rule of six meaning that ceremonies and receptions can go ahead with up to a maximum of 30 people as long as they are hosted in a COVID-secure environment. Dancing is not allowed and music should also be at a background music level.
We are seeing long discussions online about the terminology being used, i.e. “should not” and “must not” and also trying to find ways around the guidelines.
Please remember, the Coronavirus thrives on social interaction, therefore, any setting that allows people to congregate in groups carries a risk not only to the people in attendance but also to you, the staff and any other suppliers who may be present.
I was always taught when growing up that if someone tells you to not do something, then there’s usually a good reason why so let’s all do our bit to get the numbers down and hopefully we can all get back to work sooner rather than later.
Speaking of working, how do the latest rules impact getting back to work? Alison Hargreaves from Guides for Brides announced this yesterday as a “win for the wedding industry” however I’m not so sure.
Infection rates are on the rise and the new rules are an attempt to get them back down. I feel that this will massively impact everything going forward and we won’t see any changes with regards to opening up celebrations to allow more people to attend and dance the night away anytime soon. I think the latest rules are another nail in the coffin for the industry during 2020 and possibly into the first three or four months of 2021.
The furlough scheme ends soon and the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said there will be no more ongoing financial support for the self-employed so in order to put food on the table, you’re going to need to change the way you work.
For those of us who almost exclusively DJ at weddings, look to offer your clients a daytime package instead, so ceremony music, background music during the drinks reception and sit down meal together with other value-added services such as a MC services, a wedding quiz, mood lighting, maybe even a selfie-wizard instead of a traditional photo booth.
Look for bars or other music venues in your local area where you could maybe host a niche music event. I know of a DJ who has worked at many COVID-secure daytime soul music events over the past few months and they’ve been really successful so that could be an avenue you want to go down.
Whatever it is you do, please just make sure that it’s operated as safely as possible and within the guidelines and rules. The whole events industry desperately wants to get back to work and we won’t be able to if there are DJ’s out there, clearly flaunting the rules and posting pictures on social media of these gigs with people dancing and having a good time. The Government see this kind of stuff and the longer it continues, the longer that gear that you’ve invested tens of thousands of pounds into is going to stay in the lockup.