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mia and beam optimistic as end of England’s Covid-19 restrictions is announced

The Meetings Industry Association (mia) and fellow trade body, beam, have both said the prime minister’s announcement of Covid-19 restrictions lifting in England will give organisations and delegates greater confidence and security in the coming months.

As part of prime minister Boris Johnson’s ‘living with Covid plan’, he said that from 23 February, it will no longer be a law to self-isolate when testing positive. It was also announced that free Covid-19 tests for all will end on 1 April.

Juliet Price (pictured left), consultant executive director of beam (formerly HBAA), said the lifting of Plan B restrictions kick-started the recovery with a surge of bookings and contract confirmations, and that momentum has continued. 

Price said: “Finally the handbrake is off. This will give delegates the confidence to travel and the industry to move into top gear, booking confidently and being part of a worldwide resurgence of events. 

“We also hope this will give the industry greater confidence to drive recruitment and invest in workforces to meet the uplift in demand.

“This is an industry of highly professional specialists who have adapted their working practices to ensure the safety of delegates and I’m sure that they will remain vigilant to minimise the chances of further disruption. Now that we are getting back to business, we want to continue that way.”

Kerrin MacPhie (pictured right), chief executive of the mia, said: “During a two-year period which has been a rollercoaster for consumer confidence, it remains paramount that we as an industry continue to demonstrate the highest of safety and hygiene standards.

"Although restrictions are coming to an end, rigorous and enhanced cleaning and control protocols that have been adopted should remain to showcase the sector’s ongoing commitment to service, safety and hygiene.

“We will shortly be issuing our own guidance in line with the latest announcement, which will serve as a tool to guide venues and suppliers through this latest transition.

"While we are optimistic that the sector can now move forward, it must do so with caution to demonstrate its compliance with best practice principles. I am confident that this approach will boost consumer confidence and support the industry to meet again."