Following its advice to cancel or postpone all mass gatherings that attract 500 or more people, the Scottish Government has released official guidance to the event industry.
From today (16th March) organisers of all mass gatherings in Scotland are being advised to cancel or postpone in order to “protect the capacity” of the public services, ensuring they are readily available to respond to coronavirus-related cases.
The decision to postpone or cancel entirely lies with the organisers to consider “on a case-by-case basis.”
The advice is available online and reads: “The advice of the Scottish Government is that mass events should not take place, with effect from Monday 16 March 2020. The definition of a mass event, for this purpose, is any event expected to involve more than 500 attendees.
“This advice applies to mass events across all sectors – including sporting events, cultural events, and religious gatherings.”
The event industry is being asked to follow this advice until further notice.
“The Scottish Government will continue to work closely with the UK Government, other devolved administrations, expert advisers and our Resilience partners on this, and all other aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: “At a time when there is severe pressure on our fantastic emergency and public services as a result of the virus, it is only right that we seek to remove unnecessary burdens on frontline workers.
“By advising organisers not to hold large gatherings of 500 people or more in Scotland we are enabling services to prioritise their resources to where they are needed most.
“This is just one of the ways that life will change in the coming weeks and months and while this will cause some disruption it will help us all to prepare for the virus and to protect ourselves and each other in the long run.
“As the amount of work required to fight COVID-19 increases over the next few days and weeks, it is vital that people continue to follow the health advice such as handwashing and staying at home if you have any mild symptoms.”
The Scottish Government is announcing new updates on the coronavirus every day at 2pm. As of yesterday’s announcement, there were 153 confirmed cases of the virus in the country.