The Royal British Legion Scotland has published helpful information for its members ahead of Remembrance Day in November.

In order to support current Guidelines against Covid 19 to suppress and reduce infection rates, Legion Scotland is urging its membership to avoid large gatherings and as regrettable as it is to say, this must include events surrounding Remembrance this year. 

All non-essential attendance at remembrance events to an absolute minimum. To assist branches to plan and conduct Remembrance events safely they have listed a few areas where branches should comply to make events safer to attend. This list is non exhaustive.

  • Obtain permission from the venue/landowner for the event (& check availability). If on Council-owned land, you will be required to complete and submit the relevant application form.
  • The local Police will need to be informed that an event is taking place and they will need to be informed of approximate numbers in attendance at the event.
  • Identify what other permissions you might need if road closures, temporary parking restriction orders or public transport diversions are required for the event and submit the relevant applications.
  • For large or more complex events, a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) with relevant stakeholders may be called to discuss your plans. This will be chaired by a council representative.
  • Public liability Insurance should be in place to cover the event.
  • You should seriously consider having first aid cover at the event by a minimum of two
  • Recce the area prior to the event, regardless of how many times you have been there in the past, it will be important to check the site fully prior to the event so you can see any changes to the area and so you can amend your plans accordingly.
  • Please look at the event site carefully and decide the maximum amount of people that can fit into the area whilst maintaining social distancing guidance, the organiser of the event will ultimately be held responsible by the authorities if they go against social distancing guidance.
  • Prepare your risk assessment (Councils may ask you to submit a copy of this prior to the event) make sure the risk assessment is signed by the person completing it. The risk assessment should then be checked again by another person to make sure it is still applicable as close to the date of the event as possible or preferably on the day of the event, make changes to the risk assessment if required and make sure changes have been recorded and the person making the changes should sign and date the risk assessment.
  • You should have volunteers to act as stewards to assist with enforcing social distancing at the event. You must be able to control the numbers attending your event and have a plan for managing unexpected turn ups on the day or general public interest which may result in people gathering in the vicinity of your event.
  • You should provide a suitable means of hand washing or sanitising at the event site and encourage its use by participants.
  • Pipers and Buglers if they are involved they should be a safe distance away from attendees and public.
  • You should not include singing hymns at the event.
  • You will need as robust process in place for track and trace for all those who attend and will be required to gather contact information on all participants.
  • You should have a process in place for the flow of movement which in essence should be a one-way system in the location you use, which allows social distancing  to be observed during all parts of the event.
  • If the event is an indoor church service, the current Government guidelines should be followed. 
  • Parades are not currently permitted under current guidelines.
  • If you would normally use local press or PR to promote your events you can still do so, but you should use this medium to highlight that your events is closed to the general public to avoid people turning up on the day.

The above listed points (with the exception of COVID specific guidance, i.e. social distancing) hold true of any commemorative or Remembrance event which is being held.
If event organisers are unable to carry out any of the steps noted above, specifically those in relation to current COVID guidelines, then they should refrain from holding the event and find alternative means to mark Remembrance appropriately.

Anyone with a specific query or if they need assistance can contact contact the Royal British Legion's Events Department on 0131 550 1562. 

Published: Tuesday, 6th October 2020