The UK Government’s long-anticipated UK Live Events Reinsurance Scheme opened to events organisers last week as a means to cover the events industry should new lockdowns or COVID-19 restrictions force mass cancellations.

It’s now been revealed, however, that the £750 million put into the scheme will not be accessible to events promoters and organisers should they be forced to alter or cancel their event due to staffing or crew shortages that could arise from catching COVID-19, or from being forced to self-isolate following close contact with an infected person.

Events that have to operate with a lower capacity also aren’t eligible for financial support from the insurance scheme, unless the event is postponed or cancelled outright.

The scheme is only available through a handful of approved insurers, and organisers must also have standard events cancellation insurance alongside it in order to be eligible for support. Cover must be purchased at least eight weeks before the event takes place, though this rule doesn’t apply for the first 12 weeks of the scheme.

The scheme was first announced in August following months of pressure and requests from the UK’s events and hospitality industry amid uncertainty around whether summer festivals may be able to go ahead in the UK. Some festivals and large events were forced to pull the plug on their summer plans before the announcement was made as a result of the Government dragging its heels.

The fund applies to live music shows and music festivals, as well as to large sports and business events. Insurance cover will be made available in the case of “cancellation, postponement, relocation or abandonment of events due to new UK Civil Authority restrictions in response to Covid-19,” the scheme’s terms states

Having officially opened to events organisers on 22nd September, 2021, the scheme will run until September 30th, 2022, with a further review taking place in spring next year.