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Just 15 people out of 58,000 test positive for Covid after test events including the Brits

Of the tens of thousands of guinea pig revellers taking part in trials for large events just 15 people reportedly tested positive for Covid.

Thousands of people took part in the pilot events which saw people enjoy the Brit Awards, the World Snooker Championship, and a nightclub event in Liverpool with no social distancing or face masks.

The pilot scheme also included three matches at Wembley in London in a bid to test out crowd management in the wake of the pandemic.

Both indoor and outdoor events were tested and no-one who attended had to wear masks, and there was no need for the one metre social distancing rule.

While many of the events were seated, there was a club night where crowds were mixing on the dance floor.

Fans watch The BRIT Awards 2021 at The O2 Arena
Events such as the Brit awards were featured in the pilot scheme

With just 15 people testing positive following the trial, the low rate of infection seen during the Events Research Programme has ‘delighted’ officials and raised hopes of re-opening more by the summer, reports the Daily Telegraph.

A report that will include recommendations is said to be in the process of being finalised before it is handed to the Prime Minister in a matter of days.

It’s believed the biggest finding will be that the large-scale events can be carried out safely if ‘mitigation measures’ are used, signalling a long-awaited return to normality.

This could include both before and after testing for Covid as well as improved ventilation.

Confetti is fired into the crowd as Nightclub Circus
There were roughly 58,000 participants in the various events

The Events Research Programme, which operated between April and May, saw nine different events with live crowds, each of which was monitored by scientists.

The roughly 58,000 people who took part in the events had to take both a PCR test and a lateral flow test both before and after.

It is claimed that some of those were tested before events, meaning they were not able to attend, with others testing positive afterwards.

There is still a possibility that more positive tests could emerge from recent events including the FA Cup final.

One unnamed source said the study was “the most authoritative in the world” about how large events can safely be reopened.

A student takes a Lateral Flow Test
Those taking part had to be tested before and after the events

The source said the recommendation would be that “you can move forward and you can reopen the events sector”, adding: “It would be proportionate to do so given the risk.”

A government spokesman said: “The aim of our world-leading Events Research Programme is to examine the risk of Covid-19 transmission at large events and explore how crowds can be welcomed back in bigger numbers safely.

“The pilots have been designed in a scientifically controlled way to reduce the risk of transmission for attendees. We are working closely with NHS Test and Trace to ensure everyone can be traced following a positive test.”

The findings could make a case for mass events to have “Covid-status certification”, proving attendees have a low risk of being infectious and spreading the virus.

Ministers will receive the results of the study in the coming days ahead of a decision being made about next month’s further unlocking of restrictions.



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