Certainly the issue of liability concerns and insurance coverage has been uppermost in the minds of many that host events be it monthly club meetings, outreach events and organized star parties.
In the past year many if not virtually all astronomy club meetings and outreach events that they host have been cancelled. These have been replaced (for the most part) by zoom meetings and a very few smaller star parties and virtual observing sessions. However these efforts are considered by many as stop-gap measures. Most if not all long for the day when we can return to normal activities - pre-2020.
But can we? Will we? Some sceptics predicted that we would not have a vaccine for the current "flavor of the year" virus for at least several years if not many years. Here we are a year out from when those predictions were voiced and we have had multiple vaccines available to us for several months with more and more people getting vaccinated as we speak. A few more months and we will have the numbers vaccinated to return to normal activities (for the most part) albeit maybe with prudent mask wearing for awhile and better awareness of how not to spread a virus.
Several entities have been anticipating this and are planning on events that they had to put on hold for a year. Unfortunately some are finding out that the venues where they hoped to hold their events are requiring that the general liability insurance policies that they have should also cover and protect the hosting organization and the venue from claims associated with illness or death associated with the virus. One notable event to my knowledge has already cancelled their 2021 event because they could not procure insurance that would cover them for virus related claims, so they have said. So is insurance covering any entity for virus related claims? Research (see attached link) would indicate that such insurance would be difficult if not impossible to obtain plus any claim would be extremely hard to prove by anyone making an insurance claim. Would they file for a mild case or even something more than mild but maybe no worse than a stubborn case of the flu? How could anyone filing a claim prove that what they have or had was contracted at a star party vs. on the trip to the star party - at a gas station, at a motel, at a restaurant, etc., etc.?
I think moving forward - people just have to be prudent, people should or maybe even have to get vaccinated, and events and their organizers just have to make it plain that in some cases to attend you have to show proof of vaccination and you have to abide by any liability release waiver that you will be required to sign.
If people do not abide by these conditions as far as it pertains to the events that amateur astronomers have done in the past and hope to do in the future - those events will indeed become just memories.
Please check out the link
Edited by BarrySimon615, 14 March 2021 - 04:22 PM.