If you want to organise a local event which may require permission from us, you must let us know by completing an event notification form.

The form requires a wide range of information which allows us to assess your plans and pass information through to the relevant departments (e.g. the highways department if road closures are needed etc). The department(s) will then contact you if they require any additional information, or to approve/reject any necessary permits before the event goes ahead.

Tell us about an event

Please email your completed form to events1@warrington.gov.uk

Delivering outdoor events safely

Are you planning or hosting an event in 2021? If so, it must be COVID-secure and adhere to government guidance

Your event may have happened before, but some elements may need to change this time to ensure you can plan and run an event in line with COVID safety measures.

We ask for your continued support to ensure that all events provide COVID-secure environments. Our Event Safety Advisory Group (ESAG) will assess and provide advice on applications for events in line with relevant government guidance. You will need to complete a COVID risk assessment and management plan to show how you intend to deliver your event as safely as possible and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise the risk to public health.

Events cover a wide range of organised activities, ranging from small community events to large concerts including:

  • Carnivals, funfairs, fetes, steam rallies and community fairs
  • Display and performing arts, including street art events
  • Firework displays
  • Flower shows and gardening events
  • Literature fairs/festivals
  • Outdoor theatres and performing arts
  • Pet and animal shows
  • Physical activity and leisure events e.g. organised runs, charity events

Things to consider before submitting your application

Your event plan and your COVID-19 risk assessment should cover all the stages of your event from the planning, assembly, opening and taking down. It should apply to everyone involved, from volunteers to visitors, performers to the general public, and all elements of catering, performance areas, attractions and trading stands.

We need to have assurance that the event organiser has put in place reasonable mitigation to ensure:

  • social distancing between customers, performers, exhibitors and staff, consider reducing the number of attendees
  • staggering entry times, taking steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas
  • customers attending in groups of up to six people from different households, or a group of two households (unless an exemption applies)
  • drawing up cleaning schedules in advance - cleanliness in all areas with a focus on touch points
  • customer data can be collected for the purposes of ‘NHS Test and Trace’
  • communication on how customers can travel safely to venues in advance of the event, according to the safer travel guidance
Risk assessment (including COVID-secure measures)

A risk assessment should identify:

  • What situations may cause transmission of COVID-19 at your event (including travel via own or public transport)
  • What reasonable measures can you put in place to limit the risk of transmission of COVID-19 (following relevant government COVID-19 secure guidance)
  • Which different groups or individuals could be at risk from transmission of COVID-19, including staff, volunteers, suppliers/delivery drivers, independent vendors, performers, attendees – local, national or international
  • Are there any particular vulnerabilities (e.g. age, ethnicity, health status) that would increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19
  • Where possible, can you remove any activity or situation that is at risk of transmitting COVID-19. Or if not, can you put controls in place to mitigate the risk of transmitting COVID-19
Event plan

Please be aware that events may need to be cancelled if the COVID-19 situation changes due to local outbreaks, local sustained community transmission, a further wave of COVID-19 infections or variants, and you will be responsible for all financial losses. Therefore,  event organisers will need to be satisfied they are suitably insured against liability and losses and agree cancellation terms and conditions with your suppliers.

While not exhaustive, the following checklist may be helpful for you to show how you plan to put  measures in place to minimise the risk of transmitting COVID-19 at your event.

Site map and plan of event layout
  • Do you have space available to allow for social distancing - maintain two metres social distance, or when two metres is not possible, one metre+ with risk mitigation
  • Will you have to limit the size for the event?
  • Has sufficient time been allocated for set up/ take down due to the need for social distancing?
  • Consider your site layout and usage - where are the access points and emergency exits? Is a one way system for the site appropriate?
  • Consider the flow of people and movement around your event site, where are the ‘pinch points’, routes used as thoroughfares, ‘busy’ areas where people would be expected to queue for something or congregate?
  • Consider how your audience may behave - predictable (accessing catering/performance areas) and unpredictable circumstances (inclement weather/emergency scenarios) and plan accordingly to ensure social distancing
  • How will you communicate with attendees at short notice if you need to cancel the event to prevent large numbers of people ‘crowding’ near the venue site?
Site access
  • Consider advance booking only and/or fast-track and contactless entry at admission gates to minimise queues
  • Monitor those leaving the site as well as arriving to manage the number of visitors against your site capacity
  • Consider staggering arrival and departure times to minimise contact between people
  • How will you control your boundaries?


Restricting entry
  • Who are the essential persons onsite during set up and take downstage?
  • Anyone displaying signs of being unwell should be refused entry and advised to get tested/self-isolate in line with government guidance (attendees, staff, volunteers, traders, delivery drivers, performers)
  • What processes are in place to deal with individuals who breach your COVID control measures, including social distancing and the wearing of face coverings (if applicable)?
  • Facilitate participation in NHS Test and trace through QR code with the contact details for all those present at the event recorded and stored for 21 days. This may need to be on site for those not completing in advance or without smart phone
  • Provide the postcode of the site/venue to enable attendees to provide this to NHS Test and Trace should they become symptomatic, to aid outbreak identification
Security stewards and support team
  • Clearly define the job roles for both security and stewards to manage your audience and keep your site safe in both expected and unexpected circumstances
  • Do you have sufficient numbers of staff/volunteers to ensure your COVID-secure measures are maintained at all times?  (you may need additional stewards or hosts to help manage queuing and maintaining social distancing)
  • Ensure that staff and volunteers at your event have been suitably trained in their roles to support minimising the spread of COVID-19 and communicating with the public
  • Special consideration should be given to higher risk areas e.g. where alcohol is served or where more popular entertainment is being provided to minimise contact between groups
  • Ensure staff have the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Signage and information
  • Inform the public of the arrangements that have been put in place and the shared responsibility for reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 when they attend the event
  • Ensure that your directional signage, social distancing markers or spacers for pedestrian routes are clear and understandable
  • Have you planned signs for both inside and around the outside of your site?
  • Don’t forget to include signs with government public health advice about social distancing, good hand washing technique and signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • Remind attendees to wear face coverings (if appropriate) as per government guidance on face coverings when travelling using public transport or in enclosed areas
Toilets, hygiene and cleaning
  • Are there sufficient toilets on site to reduce the formation of queues? They should be well ventilated, accessible, with appropriate hand washing facilities (including running water, liquid soap and suitable options for drying - either paper towels or hand driers)
  • Consider implementing a ‘limited entry’ approach - one in, one out, for example
  • If feasible, provide hand sanitiser on entry to toilets
  • Who is responsible for carrying out cleaning? What cleaning is required and how often is cleaning planned for these facilities? Particular attention should be given to cleaning frequently hand-touched surfaces (handles, flushes and taps) - please see the government's guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings outside the home for more information 
  • Consider putting up a visible cleaning schedule – this will help to keep it up to date and reassure people that the facilities are being cleaned regularly
  • It is recommended that alcohol-based cleaning products are used when toilets are in use as these are effective for COVID-19 within one minute. Normal cleaning agents, which take longer to eradicate COVID-19, can be used for deeper or final cleans when the toilets are not in use
  • Are there appropriate signs and hand sanitisation points throughout the site so that staff and the public can regularly wash/sanitise their hands?
  • Ensure frequent cleaning of event spaces, areas and equipment between use, using normal cleaning products (for additional advice on handling musical instruments, technical equipment and other similar objects, please review ‘the Performing Arts’ guidance)
  • What arrangements have been made for appropriate waste collection and disposal? This may need to be provided more frequently
Caterers and traders
  • Providers should be informed of your COVID-19 policy/requirements and indicate whether they understand and are agreeable in advance of entering your event site
  • Those using their own units/stands within your event site should undertake their own risk assessment and provide you with details of how they will protect their staff/your audience by minimising risk of COVID-19 and maintaining social distancing
  • Encourage providers to operate with contactless payments where possible or perhaps a click and collect service via online booking, if feasible
  • Any items of furniture (tables and chairs) should be used in line with social distancing requirements and frequently cleaned with suitable detergents/sanitisers
  • Remind performers and engineers to help protect each other from the risk of COVID-19 transmission by avoiding sharing professional equipment and personal items e.g. labelling items with name of designated user, personal headsets/radios/ear pieces, with regular cleaning and disinfection of equipment
  • Consider singing by performers only e.g. avoid face to face singing and position back to back or side to side, extend social distancing to three metres or more between singers and others, limit numbers in singing groups and utilise technology
  • Minimise behaviours that increase the risk of aerosol transmission (for example loud background music that encourages shouting or people raising their voices, such as group singing or chanting)
Medical provision
  • Do you have suitable and sufficient emergency medical assistance confirmed for the size and nature of your event? This should include the measures to take to provide first aid/medical attention in a COVID-safe manner for someone with COVID19 symptoms
  • Work with your medical provider to ensure provision is adequately risk assessed and fully meets your event requirements
  • Keep in mind that NHS services are under additional pressure during COVID-19 and consider whether this will impact on your event provision in any way (for example, the availability of ambulances for hospital transportation if required)

Is there any guidance to help me?

In addition to the guidance listed below, event organisers should also note any local or national restrictions that may be brought in, possibly at short notice, to tackle increases in the prevalence of the virus. This may mean altering your plans.

Do I need a temporary event notice as well? If so, you can apply for a temporary event notice online.

Legal disclaimer:

It is the responsibility of the event organiser to comply with all relevant law and guidance and to ensure the event is conducted safely. Sign off by our Event Safety Advisory Group (ESAG) does not imply that the council, or any of the ESAG partners, have approved the event or accepted any liability for injury to or loss by any participants.

Neither Warrington Borough Council nor any of the participants in the ESAG accept any liability for loss to event organisers arising from the cancellation of or adjustment to any events or event plans after they have been signed off by the ESAG arising from changes in national law, guidance or practice.

COVID-19: During the coronavirus pandemic, powers have been given to local authorities to prevent events and use of public spaces. Sign off by the ESAG does not indicate that the council agrees that the event is COVID-secure and does not prejudice any subsequent use of these, or any other enforcement powers, before, during or after the event.