Six Months Of Tighter COVID Restrictions: What It Means For Ghost Hunting

September 23, 2020 1:00 AM ‐ Paranormal
Coronavirus Ghost Hunting Face Masks
New rules state that hospitality venues in England have to close at 10pm, so where does this leave public ghost hunting events which go on until the early hours of the morning?

It seems like every few days there's a change to the government's guidelines, as we work together to prevent another national lockdown. These restrictions on our daily lives make it harder for us to socialise. For those of us who love the paranormal it puts organised ghost hunting events at risk of cancellation.

Boris Johnson announced the latest restrictions along with further rules on the wearing of face masks, weddings and organised indoor sports. The new guidelines are in response to the government's chief scientific adviser's finding that the number of new cases of coronavirus was doubling every seven days.

The new rules, which come into effect on Thursday September 24, say that hospitality venues in England have to close early, but the government has clarified that this only applies to venues that sell food or drink - that means the type of locations where ghost hunts are carried out are generally unaffected.

The latest set of government rules state: "Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am."

A haunted castle, abandoned industrial location, former pub or stately home wouldn't be classed as a hospitality venue under this definition, which means that the 10pm curfew does not apply.

However, some haunted venues may be unsure about allowing events to continue. The government has said that certain types of businesses risk closure or penalties of £10,000 if they break the new rules. This means they'd be putting a lot of trust in the companies hosting events in their venue.

Events company, Haunted Happenings, told followers of their official Facebook page that the majority of their events can go ahead safely, but added "some locations have cancelled and all of those guests have been informed and rescheduled."

The company's founder and CEO, Hazel Ford, wrote: "I have sent an email out today to all of the guests for this weekend to advise them of the new guidelines and reiterate the safety measures that we are putting in place during the event."
Also announced on Tuesday was a reduction in the number of people who are allowed to attend weddings in England. From September 28, only 15 people will be allowed to attend weddings, this is down for the current limit of 30. Guests must attend in groups of no more than six and should not mix with anyone outside that group.

Luckily, ghost hunts are also exempt from this restriction as the events are held in COVID-secure location which can host more than six people in total as long as they have assessed the risks and put measures in place to keep individual groups of up to six people away from each other. Events companies have worked closely with venues to ensure their team and guests are safe. This is especially true of the big three paranormal events companies.

The reason why a haunted venue can hold more than six, or even 15 or 30 people, at any one time is because these venues have assessed the risks and have coronavirus precautions in place. Whereas at a wedding different groups may know each other and there is a much greater temptation to mix with guests outside of the six people you are attending with, especially when alcohol is added into the mix.

In order to be deemed COVID-secure venues might put into place precautions which include the implementation of a one-way system, and rules on how many people can be in a certain part of the building at any one time to ensure areas are not overcrowded and social distancing is possible. Venues will also have a track and trace system in place.

In regards to the 'rule of six', the government guidelines state: "venues following COVID-19 secure guidelines will be able to continue to host more people in total, but no one should mix in a group of greater than six."

This means that hosting events of more than six people in a COVID-secure location is technically fine, as long as there aren't so many people that social distancing becomes impossible to maintain.

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