Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice to organisers on mass events

Published: 15 Mar 2020

To protect the capacity of our public services, the Scottish Government advises that organisers should cancel or postpone all mass events of 500 people or more – indoors or outdoors.

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice to organisers on mass events
Overview

To protect the capacity of our public services, we advise that organisers should cancel or postpone all mass events of 500 people or more – indoors or outdoors.

This approach should be maintained until such time as further advice is issued.

There is no impact from this advice on other routine activities such as school, travel, shopping and work.

Introduction

The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is already being felt, but will increase in its severity over the next few weeks. Urgent action is now required to protect the capacity of our public services during this time.

The First Minister announced on 12 March 2020 that, from 16 March, mass events should not take place, in light of their potential impact on public services. This note provides further advice on this issue.

Under current powers we are only able to provide advice, and cannot instruct organisers to cancel events. However, we hope that organisers will follow this advice, to support our public services in responding to COVID-19. It may be that in future instructions are issued for events to be cancelled.                

Why we are issuing this advice

The purpose of this advice is to relieve pressure on public services, including emergency services, during a time when they will be under extreme pressure as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. 

We expect all organisations and bodies in Scotland to operate responsibly in this unprecedented situation, and to take appropriate action in response to this advice.

This advice is not expected to have a significant impact on the spread of COVID-19, and this is not its purpose. Individuals should continue to observe the medical advice available at NHS Inform.