Statement made by Oliver Dowden Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport:

On 25 June, the Government published a report on the first phase of its ground-breaking and science-led Events Research Programme (ERP) which is furthering our understanding of how the risk of COVID-19 transmission can be reduced at large events.

The study gathered data on behaviour, movement, ventilation and testing and has shown that with mitigating factors, such as social distancing at pinch points, face coverings and staggered entry and exit times, events can be conducted more safely at increased capacities, while maintaining a lower risk of transmission.

The ERP was commissioned by the Prime Minister in February 2021 as part of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

The aim of the review was to build an evidence base to inform how the public could return as safely as possible to attend events such as sport, theatre, live music and business events by conducting pilots across a range of settings and sectors. These have been run in a structured, scientifically and ethically robust way to enable events in the programme to happen at a scale not previously tested since the start of the pandemic.

Phase I of the programme involved a total of 58,000 participants at venues across the country including Liverpool, Sheffield and London. It was supported by event organisers, local authority and public health teams, national and local government officials and nine scientific research teams from five UK universities. The work was overseen by an independently-chaired science and ethics board.

The findings in this report will help to inform both Government and industry on how they can seek to mitigate Covid-19 transmission risk ahead of Step 4 of the roadmap.

A full copy of the report can be found on gov.uk(opens in a new tab). A copy of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

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