Places Martyn’s Law applies to

Places Martyn’s law applies to: public premises with a public capacity of 100 or more. For example, shops, night clubs, hotels, and universities to name but a few. It also applies to ‘qualifying events’; spaces that aren’t public premises but are used to access events. For example, a queue between a railway station and a public premises.

Martyn’s Law is now draft legislation,‘Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill’. It gives definitions of premises and events, along with a list of specific types of public premises:

who does martyn's law apply to - security officer on patrol

Qualifying premises

The draft legislation applies to premises primarily used for the public, or a section of the public who have access to the premises or a part of the premises (express or implied). Qualifying premises:

  • The premises have a public capacity of 100 or more individuals.
  • Where premises primarily comprise land in the open air, access to the premises by a member of the public must be by express permission only.
  • Premises may be contained within other premises, including other qualifying public premises (for example, a shop in a shopping centre).
  • Where one or more qualifying public premises are contained within other qualifying public premises, it applies in relation to each of the premises.
  • Private dwellings and offices are to be ignored. Therefore, if office premises host public events on site, the legislation applies to the event space only.

Qualifying events

The draft legislation identifies places Martyn’s Law applies to which are not at ‘qualifying premises’, called ‘qualifying events’. These places allow the public access for the purpose of attending an event and have a public capacity of 800 or more, with express permission to be there. For example, a qualifying event may be a queue between a railway station and a sports ground (qualifying premises).

Places Martyn’s Law applies to

The draft legislation lists specific public premises as places Martyn’s Law applies to: 


Used for the;

  • retail sale of goods,
  • display of goods for sale, or
  • the provision of a service,

where the sale, display or service is principally to visiting members of the public. Therefore. the legislation applies to any retailer, from a department store to a car boot sale.

Food and drink

Sale of food or drink, where the food or drink is principally for consumption on the premises by visiting members of the public.

Nightclubs etc

Nightclub, social club or dance hall.

Entertainment activities


  • a performance of a play or comedy;
  • exhibition of a film;
  • indoor sporting event;
  • boxing or wrestling entertainment;
  • Performance of live music;
  • playing of recorded music;
  • performance of dance or acrobatics.

Activity must take place in the presence of an audience, to entertain an audience.

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Sports grounds

In relation to England and Wales and Scotland, has the meaning

given by section 17(1) of the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975;

In relation to Northern Ireland, has the meaning given by Article

2(2) of the Safety of Sports Grounds (Northern Ireland) Order 2006

(S.I. 2006/313 (N.I. 2)).

Libraries, museums and galleries

Use as a library, museum or gallery, including an archive, and a site where a collection of objects or works (or a single object or work) considered to be of scientific, historic, artistic or cultural interest is exhibited outdoors or partly outdoors.

Exhibition halls etc.

Includes an exhibition hall, conference centre, or venue for hire for events or activities.

Visitor attractions

Use as a visitor attraction of cultural, historic, touristic or educational value. 



  • Hotel
  • Hostel
  • Boarding house
  • Guest house
  • Holiday park 

Places of worship

Includes communal worship, or other communal religious practice. Only standard duty (see Martyn’s Law requirements) applies, except if a fee is charged for admission.

Health care

Includes all forms of health care provided to individuals, whether relating to physical or mental health, and ancillary care.

Bus stations, railway stations etc

A station within the meaning given by section 83 of the Railways Act 1993, (b) a bus or coach station, (c) a tramway station, or (d) any other station forming part of a transport system which uses a mode of guided transport and is not a trolley vehicle system.


Use for affording facilities for the landing and departure of aircraft (including those capable of descending or climbing vertically), other than use exclusively for military purposes.

Childcare, primary and secondary education, further education

Definition of such available here.

Only standard terrorism evaluation applies, see enhanced terrorism risk assessment for more information. 

Higher education & public authorities

Definition of such available here.

Martyn’s Law under review

Because Martyn’s Law is draft legislation, its final form and date for implementation have yet to be decided.

Now you know places Martyn’s Law applies to, find out if you need an enhanced terrorism risk assessment.