The UK’s Events Research Programme trial events have led to just 15 COVID-19 cases out of more than 58,000 attendees, according to reports.
The Daily Telegraph claims that the Government-backed research shows that fewer than one in 3,000 attendees of events such as the FA Cup Final and music and conference events in Liverpool have tested positive for COVID-19 afterwards.
The roughly 58,000 people in total who attended the events were required to take both a PCR test and a lateral flow test both before and afterwards. It is understood that some of those 15 people were PCR tested before events, meaning they were not able to attend, while others tested positive in the following days.
The Telegraph reports: “The low rate of infection seen during the Events Research Programme has delighted officials and raised hopes that mass events can safely reopen this summer. The final touches are being made to a report making recommendations, expected to be handed to Boris Johnson within days.”
The largest ERP event so far, the FA Cup final, only took place last weekend so it is possible the 15 cases could increase.
The Events Research Programme, which began in April, saw nine different events with live crowds, each designed with and monitored by scientists. They also included the World Snooker Championship, Carabao Cup final, a business conference and Festival Republic gig in Liverpool.
Night Time Industries Association welcomed the reports of positive results from ERP pilot events and called on the Government to progress towards the end of social distancing in June.
Chief executive Michael Kill said: “The early release of the initial results from the Events Research Programme have shown that these environments are no different than retail & supermarkets, which are currently open and are able to trade.
“The Government needs to have confidence in the sector’s ability to deliver safe events, and continue to stand strong with the roadmap and ensure we are open on the 21st June without fail, ending the suffering of some of the hardest hit industries across the UK.
“Opening the doors of these businesses is the only way that we are going to be able to save these industries and safeguard the amazing people that work within them.”