As markets across Europe step up efforts to combat the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, IQ is endeavouring to update the industry on the most recent restrictions affecting live music across the continent.
Below you’ll find the latest information on certification schemes, social distancing requirements, mask mandates, capacity restrictions and lockdowns affecting key European markets.
Please note that we will aim to keep this article as up-to-date as possible but all information is subject to change.
To submit an update to this, please get in touch. This article was last updated on Friday 10 December.
On 22 November, Austria implemented a full national lockdown, with people told to work from home and non-essential shops to close. The measures, announced by chancellor Alexander Schallenberg, will last a maximum of 20 days.
Austria is also set to become the first European country to make Covid vaccinations compulsory, with the law due to take effect from 1 February 2022.
As of 6 December, indoor events can only take place with a seated and masked audience of no more than 200 people (previously 4,000).
For events with 50 or more people, a valid Covid Safe Ticket (CST) is required in order to certify that an attendee is either fully vaccinated or has returned a negative Covid-19 test in the previous 48 hours.
There are no clear restrictions on public outdoor events, the committee merely states that event organisers are responsible for crowd control.
As of 10 December at 16:00, “indoor concerts, performing arts performances, screenings, big-screen events and the like” can take place with no more than 50 attendees, according to the government. In addition, the requirement of vaccine passports for culture events has been extended to 7 January.
Esben Marcher, head secretariat at live music association Dansk Live, says the government must provide compensation for organisers who are forced to cancel or postpone events due to the new restrictions.
Vaccine passports and facemasks will be required in order to attend concerts in England from 15 December. The wearing of face masks will be mandated in all venues where crowds gather, and Covid certificates will be needed for: venues where large crowds gather, including nightclubs; unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people; and unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people.
The introduction of a negative LFT in the certification scheme, meanwhile, followed extended lobbying by the sector to include the measure in any new restrictions.
Nightclubs will be closed for four weeks from Friday 10 December, a move which has prompted an angry response from businesses.
The previous 75% capacity restriction was removed on 16 November for indoor concerts.
The wearing of masks is still recommended at gigs, while the implementation of health passes, providing proof of Covid vaccination or a negative test, to gain entry will be maintained for the time being.
The so-called 2G rule (meaning genesen for recovered in the past six months and geimpft for vaccinated) has been extended to cover the whole country – meaning only those who have been vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid can attend live music venues and other cultural events.
Outdoor events are limited to 50% capacity with a maximum of 15,000 attendees, while indoor gatherings are limited to 50% cap and crowds of up to 5,000. Masks are mandatory at all events.
As of 7 December, entertainment, cultural and sports events are limited to 50% of seating capacity. Face masks will be obligatory unless people are eating or drinking. Nightclubs — which in October reopened for the first time in 19 months — must close again. The restrictions are to be in effect until at least 9 January.
As of 6 December, unvaccinated people are banned from attending concerts in Italy. Access to music venues – as well as theatres, cinemas, sporting events, restaurants and bars – in the country will be restricted to those with a so-called Covid Super Green Pass, which includes proof of vaccination or recovery only. Those venues can continue to operate at 100% capacity under the new requirement.
The Dutch government has put plans to implement a 2G system on hold until the new year, saying there is not currently enough time to draw up the legislation.
A capacity limit of 1,250 has been imposed on venues, while sports events will be played behind closed doors. However, between 17:00 and 05:00 events are not permitted.
Covid entry passes are already required to attend concerts in the country.
As of 29 November, either proof of vaccination, a negative lateral flow test or proof of recovery from Covid-19 is needed for access to:
- Licensed hospitality premises, including bring-your-own-alcohol venues.
- Cinemas, theatres and conference halls.
- Indoor events with 500 or more attendees with some or all of the audience not normally seated.
- Outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees with some or all of the audience not normally seated.
- Events where more than 10,000 people will be present regardless of whether they are seated.
Deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill has said there are no plans to increase the level of Covid-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland before Christmas Day.
The Norwegian government recently introduced a number of measures for several municipalities, including Oslo.
As of 3 December, indoor events without designated seating can only take place with a maximum of 600 people, split into cohorts of 200. Face coverings are mandatory in venues where social distancing is not possible.
Event organisers – as well as venues that serve food or alcohol – are required to register guests for track and trace.
The measures apply to the following municipalities: Oslo, Asker, Bærum, Grue, Kongsvinger, Nord-Odal, Sør-Odal, Eidskog, Hurdal, Nannestad, Ullensaker, Gjerdrum, Nes, Lørenskog, Lillestrøm, Rælingen, Aurskog-Høland, Enebakk, Nordre, Follo, Ås, Nesodden and Frogn. The regional measures will initially be in effect for 14 days.
From 15 December, nightclubs will close and the maximum number of people allowed in other venues will be reduced from 50% capacity to 30%.
Venues can increase their operating capacity by only admitting vaccinated attendees, with staff required to check vaccination certificates. Face coverings are mandatory inside music venues.
As of 1 December, Covid passports certifying full inoculation, recovery from Covid-19 or a negative test result, will be mandatory to access events, restaurants, gyms and other leisure and hospitality businesses. Masks will be required for indoor spaces.
In addition, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people will be required to show a negative test to be granted entry to large events without marked seats, sports venues, bars and nightclubs.
For the week of 2–9 January (aka ‘containment week’), working from home will be obligatory, bars will close and school holidays extended to prevent a post-holiday season spread.
Concerts and events in Romania will be staged at 50% capacity to a maximum of 1,000 people (all of whom must be vaccinated) with a 10:00 pm curfew.
As of 6 December, evidence of a negative Covid test – from either a lateral flow test or PCR – is included in Scotland’s Covid-19 passport scheme. Previously, attendees were required to show proof of full vaccination.
Anyone over the age of 18 must show a Covid-19 passport before they are allowed entry to:
- Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues.
- Unseated indoor live events with more than 500 people in the audience.
- Unseated outdoor live events with more than 4,000 people in the audience.
- Any event, of any nature, which has more than 10,000 people in attendance.
As of 3 December, Covid certification demonstrating proof of vaccination, recovery from the virus, or a recent negative test is required to enter music venues, bars, restaurants, gyms, nightclubs, care homes, or attend events in hotels and restaurants with indoor dance floors. For indoor standing events, capacity is set at 80% maximum.
As of 1 December, vaccine passports certifying full inoculation are required at events with more than 100 people. Capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements were scrapped in September.
Proposed restrictions for events with more than 100 participants indoors without a vaccination certificate are:
- The participants have a designated seat.
- Groups must be able to keep a distance of at least 1 meter sideways and forwards and backwards from other groups.
- Participants in one and the same group amount to a maximum of 8 people. If a party is larger than 8 people, the organiser must divide the party with a maximum of 8 participants in each.
As of 6 December, masks will have to be worn indoors wherever a certificate obligation applies. Events and venues, both indoor and outdoor, will be allowed to restrict entry to people who are vaccinated or recovered. The measures will be in effect until 24 January.
As of 11 October, adults need an NHS Covid Pass to enter nightclubs and large events.
Anyone aged over 18 is required to show the pass to prove they are either fully vaccinated or have had a negative lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours.
The pass will be compulsory for anyone who wants to attend:
- Indoor standing events with more than 500 people.
- Outdoor standing events with more than 4,000 people.
- Any event with more than 10,000 people, including sporting events.
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