Only 15 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since attending government-backed mass gathering pilot test events in England over the past month, The Telegraph reports.
Around 58,000 people attended events in cities such as Liverpool and London, including the Circus club nights at Liverpool’s Bramley Moore Dock, one day festival at the nearby Sefton Park, BRIT Awards at London’s O2 Arena, and FA Cup semi-final and final football matches at Wembley stadium.
Other events included the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield and 5K run in Surrey.
That just 15 COVID cases were reported among a significant number of event attendees will give hope to the events industry that safe re-opening is possible ahead of the planned June 21 end of lockdown and social contact restrictions.
Attendees were required to produce both a negative PCR and lateral flow test before the events, and take follow-up tests afterwards.
The full Events Research Programme (ERP) report is due to be given to Prime Minister Boris Johnson next week, outlining recommendations for reopening events from the data.
A government spokesman said: “The aim of our world-leading Events Research Programme is to examine the risk of COVID-19 transmission at large events and explore how crowds can be welcomed back in bigger numbers safely.
“The pilots have been designed in a scientifically controlled way to reduce the risk of transmission for attendees. We are working closely with NHS Test and Trace to ensure everyone can be traced following a positive test.”
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Earlier this week it was reported that the data from these pilots indicates mass events without COVID-19 restrictions such as social distancing and mask wearing are only as risky as going shopping or eating out.
A government source said to The Times “results so far have been very encouraging” and “It shows that there are things that you can do to make these settings as safe as other daily activities.”
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Editor, follow him on Twitter