U.K. Trial of Mass Events During Pandemic Led to Few Covid Cases

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A U.K. research program testing the impact of holding live events during the pandemic has recorded “no substantial outbreaks,” with just 28 cases of Covid-19 identified among 58,000 participants.

Some of the large-scale pilot events in April and May logged zero cases, including the BRIT music awards which had an audience of 3,300 people, a report from the Department of Culture said Friday.

The results are likely to trigger fresh calls from politicians and businesses to fully reopen the entertainment and hospitality sectors as soon as possible. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he aims to lift all social-distancing rules on July 19, with the government downplaying the chance of an earlier lifting of restrictions on July 5.

But the report cautioned that the trial events were carried out when prevalence of the virus was low, and all participants were tested before entry.

The first phase of the government’s Events Research Program involved club nights, a music festival, soccer matches and a snooker championship. The aim was to explore how the use of Covid testing, ventilation, social distancing, and face coverings can help reopen large venues safely.

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