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Testing before and after, as well as transport, key parts of Event Research Programme

Attendees at the Government’s planned pilots will be required to have a negative Covid-19 test both before and after the event.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has said that pilots will include the FA Cup Final and World Snooker Championship, and also suggested a business event would take place in Liverpool (pictured), but did not elaborate further.

The purpose of a post-event test is to measure transmission.

Attendees will have to adhere to an agreed code of behaviour at the point of ticket purchase. This will include following existing Government guidance on the use of face coverings and following event specific rules. They will not be permitted if they have symptoms of Covid-19. They will also have to provide contact details of everyone in their group for NHS Test and Trace.

The Events Research Programme, which is the official name of the pilot scheme, will include looking at risk factors in indoor and outdoor settings in both small and large venues, as well as in seated and standing events and different forms of audience participation.

Crucially, transport to and from the events will also be studied, along with their duration and catering and provision of alcohol. 

The pilots will test a range of non-pharmaceutical mitigating interventions during non-socially distanced events such as layout of the venue, face coverings and ventilation.

The study of each event will be overseen by a team of researchers who will be closely monitoring audience movements and interactions.

The results of the pilots will be used to provide scientific data into how small and large-scale business events could be permitted to safely reopen in line with the prime minister's Roadmap out of lockdown as part of Step 4, commencing no earlier than 21 June.

“These test events will be crucial in finding ways to get fans and audiences back in safely without social distancing,” said Dowden.

“We want to get the people back to enjoying what they love and ensure some of our most important growth industries get back on their feet.

“These are important steps towards the safe and special summer we all crave and that I’m fully focused on delivering.”

Claire McColgan MBE, director of culture and tourism in Liverpool was included in a statement from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and said the city was chosen as it had proven successful as a pilot for mass standing previously. She said: “Liverpool is an event city. They are a critical part of our economy, culture and community and so we are delighted to be working with partners across Government, our colleagues at University of Liverpool and a number of local venues and promoters to plan this series of pilot events. 

“Our experience as the pilot city for mass testing means we have the knowledge and infrastructure in place to deliver complicated projects safely, and we really hope we can help provide the evidence needed to ensure the wider sector is able to open across the country in the coming months.”