The UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Groups for Events and Sports have jointly written to the secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden MP (pictured), to ask for further clarity on how Covid-19 testing might work ahead of the planned reopening on 21 June, as announced by Boris Johnson, 22 February.
In the letter, APPG chairs Theresa Villiers MP (events) and Ben Bradley MP (sport) asked for clarity that if proof of a negative test is to become a means of reviving larger scale events and fixtures, how it would work in practice. “How would testing hundreds of thousands of people work; what would be the waiting time for results?” the letter read.
Further questions raised included how impersonation problems would be tackled and whether or not the necessary technology could realistically be in place ahead of reopening.
Villiers and Bradley also sought clarification on the issue of who would pay for testing.
The letter also asked for a firmer reopening date. “It is of course good news that some venues may be able to open, and smaller events take place from 17 May,” the letter read. “While 21 June is indicated as a potential start date for larger events, this is still only conditional on the outcome of reviews and pilots. We are very keen for a firmer date to be set.”
Both the events and sports industries fall under the sponsorship of the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
“The new set of pilots need to focus on a risk-based solution that is dependent on the situation, venue, audience numbers, and type of event. Any new requirements in relation to proof of a test or a vaccination need to be proportionate, operationally feasible, affordable and consistent with protection of individual privacy,” the APPG letter continued.
The letter in full