We wanted to outline the new information with regards to hosting a children's party since the Government's new guidance has been released so you know where you stand legally when hosting a children's birthday party. New information is released frequently and we'll do our best to update this blog when changes come into effect. This information is relevant as of the last update for hospitality released and as effective from 11th July 2020. More information can be found HERE
There is a difference in what is currently law and what is guidance, and it is up to yourself as to how you proceed when it is guidance.
Can I have a children's birthday party?
The short answer is yes, but there are both legal requirements as well as Government guidance to be followed. We've broken down the main information with regards to parties as follows.
How many children can I invite to a birthday party now?
Guidance still states you can have 6 persons together from multiple households (outdoors), or legally up to 30 from 2 households (inside or outside). The law is no more than 30 persons at any time, but the Government guidance is that this is no more than 2 households together. So if you are following Government guidelines you can have 4 children, one entertainer and one responsible adult present at a party outside, or combine 2 households (connected 'bubbles' are counted as one household) for a party indoors or outside. of up to 29 with your entertainer as the final person making 30 in total.
Where can I have a birthday party?
Unfortunately most village halls are not yet open for birthday parties. Venues have to ensure they have a risk assessment and have taken strict measures to ensure minimal contact between persons and are not yet able to do this for birthday parties. It is hoped they will in the near future but some are allowing their outdoor space to be hired in the meantime so check with your venue as to their individual rules.
Most parties are currently happening in gardens and hired park spaces. We have changed our terms and conditions to ensure you are not out of pocket should it rain or a household has to quarantine in which case a full refund or new date can be arranged.
Do I have to stick to 4 children at my party or can I sneak in more?
If we're booked for a birthday party we obviously have no way of knowing how many children are from one or two household(s), however we recommend sticking to the Government guidelines for everyone's safety and will have to leave if there are more than 29 people when we arrive with full payment still required, as this is against the law. We do need to know how many children you are expecting beforehand as each child receives their own set of equipment that is cleaned and sorted beforehand, and any extra would therefore not have any circus equipment with which to play and participate.
What happens if it rains?
The great British weather is a pain and we understand this! Gazebos just are not practical or large enough to host a circus party under and so we either issue a full refund or can move the party date for you. We cannot relocate the party indoors at present due to social distancing requirements.
Can children actually socially distance at a birthday party?
The short answer is no, children are children and the mental anguish they would have from being forced and reminded every two minutes is definitely not worth the few extra seconds they spend near each other (in our opinion). We do our best to minimise all contact in the form of individual equipment, areas set up as well as no physical contact with ourselves, helped by a longer show at the start and smaller groups performing at the end but children being children they will still get close to each other. We recommend organising individual food bags for each child, not giving out any of the birthday cake after the candles have been blown out and we set out spaced seats or spaces for them to sit during the show, but we do recommend at minimum sticking to the children's school bubbles for invitations as they are already mixing with each other during the week and it minimises any further contact with other families.
So in conclusion, the main differences for birthday parties now are -
You can have up to 4 children, one adult and one entertainer at your garden/park party.
Alternatively you can have up to 29 adults and children (law) from 2 households (guidance) also outdoors (for our parties anyway, some entertainers may be performing indoors already but we're not covered by our insurance for this, yet). In this case we are not classes as a household as we are not socialising, but providing a service, but we are still included in the 30 maximum number.
You must do as much as possible to ensure there is minimal mixing of children. Individual seating, food bags and not passing out cake after candles have been blown out all helps here.
We have a fully portable sound system that uses a microphone to ensure we're not shouting at any time (we're also not allowed to sing yet, this is probably a good thing...)
Children should be encouraged to wash their hands upon arrival, before eating and before leaving. (We can help organise this but will never enter a bathroom with any child)
Village halls and other party venues are able to set their own rules at present depending on their own risk assessments, so it's worth asking, but most will start to open after the Government's next update with regards to indoor entertainment.
Schools/groups are still able to book an entertainer for individual class bubble shows and workshops for up to 10 participants (due to our equipment being separated out).
Due to the number of restrictions we are currently offering ONE hour parties only, discounted due to the guest number restrictions.
If you are unsure about anything please contact us and we'll do our best to help you out!
Images above - Noah had an amazing circus party in his garden for his close friends in July 2020 with the circus ring, show and fire performance ending!