Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): supporting safer capacity in public settings and events

Last updated: 12 Jan 2022 - see all updates
Published: 23 Dec 2021

Guidance on physical distancing and capacity limits in relevant premises and events.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): supporting safer capacity in public settings and events


From 26 December 2021, live events in premises and in stadia will be subject to caps on the number of people who can attend. The caps for relevant locations are:

  • 200 indoors at one time seated
  • 100 indoors at one time standing
  • 500 outdoors at any one time seated or standing

Numbers included should not include workers or those providing voluntary or charitable services at the event, or children under 5 years of age.

From 27 December 2021, a requirement to maintain at least 1 metre physical distancing will apply to relevant businesses and events. This is in addition to the requirement all businesses take measures to reduce the incidence and spread of COVID-19 by controlling their layout, and providing table service where it applies.

The requirement to maintain physical distancing between groups applies to:

  • amusement arcades, snooker or pool halls,
  • bars, including a bar in a hotel or members club,
  • betting shops,
  • bingo halls,
  • bowling alleys,
  • caf├ęs and canteens,
  • casinos,
  • cinemas,
  • comedy clubs
  • concert halls,
  • conference or exhibition centres and any other place at which an exhibition takes place,
  • discotheques, nightclubs and dance halls,
  • function halls and event venues,
  • hotels, hostels, members clubs, boarding houses or bed and breakfast accommodation providers,
  • indoor fitness studios, sports halls, gyms, swimming pools, and other indoor sport, activity or exercise facilities,
  • indoor funfairs,
  • indoor snow sports centres,
  • indoor skating rinks,
  • indoor visitor attractions, museums and galleries,
  • museums and galleries,
  • public houses,
  • restaurants, including a restaurant or dining room in a hotel or members club,
  • sexual entertainment venues,
  • soft play centres,
  • spa pools, hydrotherapy facilities, saunas and steam rooms,
  • sports stadiums, and
  • theatres

We are asking other premises to also consider managing the risks of the virus by maintaining where possible, physical distancing. Where the business is not listed above, this is not a requirement but a suggested measure. This guidance can also be used for those premises.

This guidance is designed to support safe operation of premises and events. It highlights the importance of, and supports, the implementation of physical distancing in order to supress the virus. It is supplementary to existing guidance. Existing guidance can be found at: Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer business and workplaces - ( Premises may want to refer to specific sectoral guidance where it also exists.

The guidance in this document does not change the policy or regulatory position on physical distancing requirements. This guidance is designed to support relevant public settings to consider how physical distancing applies to them and their capacity taking into account these existing requirements. Where premises have fully considered physical distancing rules in line with their sectoral guidance and taking account of their unique business layouts and flows we do not expect premises to adjust these calculations.

First published: 23 Dec 2021 Last updated: 12 Jan 2022 -