The delayed UEFA Euro 2020 Football Championships kick-off on Friday, 11 June 2021 with England, Scotland and Wales all taking part and fans meeting up to watch the matches on TV screens in pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels.
The Euros reach their climax with the final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, 11 July. This article summarises how licensed premises’ managers and staff can manage their customers safely to make the most of this timely opportunity to generate much-needed income whilst continuing to comply with COVID-19 requirements.
This advice and guidance has been produced by Licensing Security & Vulnerability Initiative (Licensing SAVI), which provides for the first time, comprehensive and consistent advice, guidance and standards to make licensed premises safer and more secure for everyone to enjoy…
Prepare in advance
Planning is key and you can seek help from your local police and council licensing teams to problem solve reasonably anticipated risk. This will allow for appropriate support if necessary and for your venue to be included in response plans for the wider local area. This should also ensure you are able to adapt to other events nearby which could impact upon you. Also:
- Check Premises Licence conditions to ensure plans are compliant, especially when considering using space differently to manage COVID-19, such as outside areas which may not have been used before
- Submit Temporary Event Notices where necessary as early as possible
- Be aware of key match dates, particularly those of the home nations, so you can match staffing levels against expected customer demand
- Regularly check on Government COVID guidance relevant to your location because safety requirements may change prior to, and during, the Championships
- On key match days, consider ticket-only access and whether you need the additional support of Security Industry Authority (SIA) registered door supervisors
- Review your policies and risk assessments to ensure they are fit for purpose
- Record changes to operating practices, such as due to COVID-19, in risk assessments and audit trails. (The three photos below are from EURO 2016 - the first two showing the winners: Portugal)
Brief your staff
Customers will be keen to socialise with people they may not have seen for some time, including those who turned 18 since COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. Plus, your neighbours are likely to have become used to quieter streets whilst you were closed. The Euros are a timely opportunity to remind staff of procedures and management practices. These may be staff who have returned after long periods of furlough and new staff who have been recruited to replace those who have left. Staff briefings are important and could include:
- Challenge 21/25 age-identification schemes to manage underage drinkers and remind staff it is an offence to serve a drunk person (or on behalf of drunk person)
- Emergency procedures, such as how to respond to alarms and the location of fire exits and the need to keep them uncongested; and to stop serving and call police in the event of any tension or disorder
- How to manage the number of customers to avoid exceeding venue capacity and how large numbers could influence departure in response to critical incidents
- Ensure nominated staff know how to use your CCTV system to ensure it is fully operational and are able to download footage
- Position TV match screens to avoid potential congestion, especially avoiding emergency exits
- Consider safe and controlled dispersal from your venue when matches finish
- Inform staff of the named Designated Premises Supervisor or appropriate manager
- Explain the different types of vulnerability and how vulnerable people can be supported, such as by contacting friends or family on their behalf, as opposed to asking them to leave a venue where they could then become at greater risk.
- Run sensible drinking promotions and make free water available
- Use polycarbonate or similar drinking vessels and decant any bottles to reduce risk of injury or harm, that could result from disorder
- Clear empty glasses and rubbish quickly and remove to secure storage
- Display numbers for reputable taxi companies, signposting to nearby transport hubs.
The terrorist threat is ‘substantial’ which means an attack is ‘likely’. Crowded places are particularly at risk. Managers and staff will need to be vigilant for anything out of the ordinary or that doesn’t feel right no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Call your local police on 101 or in an emergency 999.
Licensing Security & Vulnerability Initiative (Licensing SAVI):
At the request of the Home Office, Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), a police organisation that works alongside the Police Service to deter and reduce crime, has launched Licensing SAVI, which is the most comprehensive, single source of information for licensed premises to obtain all the guidance, advice and standards they need to comply with the Licensing Act 2003 and run safe and secure venues.
To undertake the Licensing SAVI self-assessment:
For further guidance for licensees about how to keep premises safe indoors and outside in gardens and other seating areas, and for information about how you can obtain advice from your local police:
(EURO 2020 logo and EURO 2016 images by kind permission of UEFA)
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