The UK Government has revealed finer details regarding the Event Research Programme – the series of pilot events which will determine the manner of which events will be allowed to operate in the UK post 21 June.
Spectators are attending a series of scientific pilot events as part of the Government’s plan to get big crowds back this summer, with a single pilot business event taking place at ACC Liverpool on 28 April.
The pilots have been designed in a scientifically controlled way, with special consideration to reduce risk of transmission. The events are exempt from the wider coronavirus regulations, including the rule of six and social distancing. The Government has made it clear that for the purposes of the pilot events, there will be no need for any form of vaccination certificate. However, this does not mean that they won’t be introduced at a later date.
The programme is being overseen by an industry-led steering group co-chaired by Nicholas Hytner and David Ross, working with national and local public health authorities. The board will consider the evidence, including test results, from the pilot events and make recommendations to prime minister Boris Johnson and the secretaries of state for DCMS, BEIS and DHSC on how restrictions could be safely lifted. These recommendations will be made to the aforementioned departments in the week leading up to 21 June, which may not leave organisers of early events with much time to implement any last minute changes.
The pilots will explore how different approaches to social distancing, ventilation and test-on-entry protocols could ease opening and maximise participation. The evidence from these pilots will be used to inform and shape Government policy to bring about the phased return of fuller audiences to venues and events up and down England.
The UK Government has said that decisions will be guided by a Science Board of relevant experts including senior Public Health England representation, who will take into account the latest public health data. The events are scientific trials, and each event may have different criteria for the selection of participants.
Hand sanitiser will be available at all events. Attendees have been asked to bring their own face masks as they may still be required to wear them around the venue.
The UK Government has also said that attendees will be subject to scientifically and ethically designed pre- and post-event monitoring to gather evidence associated with different settings and approaches to managing and mitigating transmission risk.
Attendees must produce a negative lateral flow test result from that day or the day before to enter the scientific pilot event. Testing will largely be delivered through the existing community testing network, with results validated by the event organisers before ticket holders are admitted to the venue.
The majority of attendees at the ERP events will be local to the venue. However, attendees with valid ERP tickets can travel to the event in line with HMG guidance.
Under Step 2 of the roadmap fans travelling to and from events will only be permitted to stay in self-contained accommodation where indoor facilities are not shared with other households.