The UK Government’s Events Research Programme has implemented a digital health data platform to track how the pilots are impacting the current state of the pandemic.

Liverpool’s recent test events, including last weekend’s Sefton Park music festival for 5,000 maskless people and a recent club night at Circus, used the Cheshire and Merseyside Combined Intelligence for Population Health Action (CIPHA) system to monitor the situation after events.

Although the pilot programme is taking place across the UK, several events have been and will be held in Liverpool to inform plans for reopening events later this year in line with the announced roadmap out of lockdown.

The platform, which was funded by NHSX and is usually used to link health and social care data, is being used by the ERP to connect people’s COVID-19 test results with their tickets to support the reopening plan and its research.

Ticket buyers for pilot events must enter their details and take lateral flow tests before and after attending the concert or club night, with CIPHA to record the data and ensure any transmission of COVID-19 is properly monitored.

Iain Buchan, dean of the Institute of Population Health at the University of Liverpool, who is leading the public health evaluation of the ERP, said, according to UK Authority: “CIPHA has enabled civic, public health and NHS organisations to work quickly to a single source of truth across Liverpool – offering a command centre for very complex and fast moving operations such as building a public health safety net around events.”

The Liverpool community mass testing pilot is run in partnership between the region’s NHS, local authorities and University of Liverpool.

For Liverpool’s Sefton Park sold-out gig, organised by Festival Republic, there were no requirements for social distancing or masks and ‘rule of six’ regulations will also not apply at the Sefton Park Pilot.

Liverpool also hosted a non-socially distanced conference with more than 400 delegates attending the Good Business Festival at ACC Liverpool as part of the ERP. In addition, around 3,000 people attended an indoor club night at the city’s Circus Nightclub.

Liverpool is also due to host The Luna Cinema on the Waterfront from May 14 to 16 as part of the pilot programme.

Gary Leeming from CIPHA, and director of the Liverpool City region civic data cooperative, said: “Being able to manage the data for research in this way has been critical for the national event management programme and we were really pleased that we were able to respond so quickly.”