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BVEP: April pilots will determine if testing is required from 21 June

The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) has said that the success of planned pilot events will determine whether or not Covid-19 testing will be required for events once the economy is reopened on the conditional date of 21 June.

BVEP has also said that social distancing and other Covid mitigation measures are expected to remain in place once restricted-capacity events take place from 17 May.  

“We been working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to clarify the situation regarding the conditions under which events can operate from the 17 May and 21 June,” a statement from the umbrella body read.

BVEP provided the following update to both Step 3 and Step 4 of the Governments Re-Opening Roadmap:

The precise wording in the Government’s Reopening Roadmap for Step 3, which is no earlier than the 17 May, reads:

In all sectors, Covid-Secure guidance will remain in place and premises must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits. Sectors which will reopen include: Some large events, including conferences, theatre and concert performances and sports events. Controlled indoor events of up to 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower, will be permitted, as will outdoor events with a capacity of either 50% or 4,000 people, whichever is lower. In addition, pilots will run as part of the Events Research Programme to examine how such events can take place without the need for social distancing using other mitigations such as testing.”

“The Government will bring the findings from across different sectors and different settings to determine a consistent approach to lifting restrictions on these events. Depending on the outcome of this work, the Government hopes to be able to lift restrictions on these events and sectors as part of Step 4.”

“This implies there will still be social distancing and other interventions for events which run from no earlier than the 17 May,” BVEP said.

The guidance relating to Step 4 of the Government's roadmap, which is no earlier than the 21 June, states:

“With appropriate mitigations in place, by Step 4, the Government aims to: a. Remove all legal limits on social contact, publishing accompanying guidance on how best to reduce the risk of transmission and protect ourselves and loved ones; b. Reopen the remaining closed settings, including nightclubs and enable large events, including theatre performances, above the Step 3 capacity restrictions, subject to the outcome of the scientific Events Research Programme and potentially using testing to reduce the risk of infection, subject to further evaluation; and c. Remove all limits on weddings and other life events, subject to the outcome of the scientific Events Research Programme.”

On this text, BVEP said: “Therefore, the degree of relaxation of social distancing and other non-pharmaceutical interventions will be determined by the pilot test events to be held during April, with the results incorporated into the Step 3 and 4 reopening guidance.

“On this basis, all organisations operating within the events sector are strongly advised to ensure their customers, staff and suppliers are aware of the likelihood of continuing restrictions after reopening.”