UK government researching COVID-19 spread by hosting large pilot events, including maskless raves without social distancing

On Friday, April 30, a large rave event was hosted in Liverpool to research whether large-scale events can begin again safely. The event is part of the UK’s government Events Research Programme (ERP).

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The 2-day event was set to host 6,000 attendees with strict entrance rules including taking a lateral flow test 24 hours before the event and showing evidence of a negative Covid-19 test before gaining entry to the event.

Attendees must then take another test five days after the event and submit their results to researchers monitoring the event, according to the Metro. 

Video from inside the Circus Nightclub Liverpool event shows a large crowd dancing in a packed room.

The event is part of the UK’s government Events Research Programme (ERP), which “aims to examine the risk of transmission of Covid-19 from attendance at events and explore ways to enable people to attend a range of events safely.”

The events do not require masking or social distancing, but do have testing requirements.

The first phase of pilot events will include:

  • FA Cup Semi Final, Wembley Stadium
  • World Snooker Championship, Sheffield Crucible Theatre
  • Luna Cinema, Liverpool
  • League Cup Final
  • ACC Business Event, Liverpool
  • Circus Nightclub, Liverpool
  • FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium
  • The BRIT Awards, London
  • Outdoor gig, Sefton Park Liverpool

The ERP says that the government has selected these events to research “based on settings that cover a range of criteria, including different audience capacities, outdoor and indoor venues and different layouts.”

The ERP says they will “test some settings and layouts more than once (eg, Wembley) thereby increasing the sample size. Pilot findings will be scalable and transferable across different sectors, maximising the output from a small number of studies.”

The first ERP trial event was held on Wednesday, April 28, which had 400 people gather for the start of The Good Business Festival at ACC Liverpool, BBC reported

At the business event on Wednesday, attendees were not asked to wear masks or social distance. However, all attendees had to take a test before and after the event. 

Liverpool’s director of culture, Claire McColgan, told the BBC, “It is much safer coming to these events than it is going to the supermarket,”.

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