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Government trials indicate mass events are no more risky than 'going shopping'

The UK government has shared data from its pilot events that did not enforce social distancing or mask wearing

  • Tope Olufemi
  • 19 May 2021
Government trials indicate mass events are no more risky than 'going shopping'

Mass events without COVID-19 restrictions such as social distancing and mask wearing are only as risky as going shopping or eating out, according to data from the government’s Event Research Programme.

Risk of transmission is significantly lower when screening and better ventilation are introduced in venues, according to The Times.

Read this next: Review: The UK's first club night was an ecstatic reminder of pre-pandemic life

Much of the live music industry has suffered as a result of the pandemic, with many music venues being shut since lockdown began in the UK in March 2020 - the data provides hope for these venues and the future of live music as England plans for a full re-opening on June 21.

Liverpool saw thousands of attendees at pilot events across the May Bank Holiday weekend - with no COVID restrictions.

The 2021 BRIT Awards and the FA Cup final also took place with an audience, all of which had to produce a negative COVID test to enter.

Read this next: “No sign” 5,000 person Barcelona concert caused COVID infections

One government source, speaking to The Times, said: “We are still waiting for the final bits of data but the results so far have been very encouraging.

“It will help make the case that these large events are not inherently more risky than other parts of the hospitality sector. It shows that there are things that you can do to make these settings as safe as other daily activities.”

Read this next: Primavera's non socially-distanced, rapid test events produces no COVID infections.

While the data is promising, there is much uncertainty about events going ahead this summer, with many events having to cancel entirely due to a lack of government insurance for large-scale events.

Tope Olufemi is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow them on Twitter

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