Site visits for business meetings and events will be permitted in England from March 29, the Cabinet Office has confirmed.
From the end of this month, in line with the lifting of the stay at home order, ‘visiting a business event venue for the purpose of viewing the venue for a future booking for a work-based event (even if the venue is otherwise closed) is permitted if this cannot be reasonably done from home’, Duncan Parish, head of tourism at DCMS told the HBAA.
The news was welcomed by Juliet Price, consultant Executive Director of HBAA, which has been lobbying for clarity on the ban on site visits, which was previously in place until May 17.
She commented: “This is terrific news and just the boost that the business events, accommodation and meetings industry needs to kickstart its recovery.
“This has been a concerted effort in recent weeks by many industry leaders not just HBAA and we are hugely grateful to BVEP and DCMS in helping the industry achieve this business-critical point of guidance for the meetings and events sector.”
Parish added however that venue viewings for ‘leisure activities’ is being ‘treated differently’ to venue viewings for business activities.
Parish said: “I confirm that I have discussed with Cabinet Office and we have agreed that after March 29 – when the stay at home restriction is lifted – visiting a business event venue for the purpose of viewing the venue for a future booking for a work-based event (even if the venue is otherwise closed) is permitted if this cannot be reasonably done from home. Safety guidelines for workplaces should be adhered to. Viewings where there is not a permitted exemption for work purposes or otherwise, should not be taking place in closed venues at this time.
“In practice that means venue viewings for leisure activities is being treated differently to venue viewings for business activities as the latter is permitted under the guidelines, whereas the former is still restricted. I appreciate there will still be concerns about that but hopefully it is at least progress.”