Notice: Information about the Events Research Programme (ERP), paving the way for larger audiences to attend sport, theatre and gigs safely this summer

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Spectators are attending a series of scientific pilot events as part of the governments plan to safely get big crowds back this summer, starting with the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield on 17 April.

Working closely with local authorities and organisers, the science-led Events Research Programme (ERP) pilots will be run across a range of settings, venues, and activities. The programmes findings will support the full reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors in the summer.

All pilots are 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.

The programme is overseen by an industry-led steering group co-chaired by Nicholas Hytner and David Ross, working closely with national and local public health authorities. The board will consider the evidence, including test results, from the pilot events and make recommendations to the Prime Minister and the Secretaries of State for DCMS, BEIS and DHSC on how restrictions could be safely lifted.

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.

Information for attendees and spectators

Public safety is our main priority and decisions will be guided by a Science Board of relevant experts including senior PHE 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 sanitizer will be available at all events. Attendees should bring their own face masks as they may still be required to wear them around the venue.
  • 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 LFD 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.
  • We are also asking attendees to take pre- and post-event home PCRs tests, carried out to inform the research. Further information on booking these tests will be sent to attendees prior to the event.

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. Additional travel requirements may be stipulated by event organisers and local authorities so we would encourage participants to check before they travel to an ERP event.

How to travel safely to a venue

No matter how you travel, plan ahead and allow more time for your journey. You should try to travel at quieter times and take less busy routes where possible.

  • Walk or cycle to the event where possible.
  • If using public transport, you should regularly sanitise your hands, wear a facecovering unless you are exempt, and social distance where possible.
  • It is a legal requirement that, unless exempt, you must wear a face covering on public transport and inside transport hubs, e.g. train stations. You could be fined 200 minimum if you do not comply.
  • If travelling by car, you should avoid sharing a car with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. If this isnt possible, you should open the windows, wear a face covering unless exempt and leave seats free to social distance.

Staying overnight

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.

For more information please read the document above



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