Just 15 COVID-19 cases have been detected from 58,000 attendees of UK trial events, new reports show.
Earlier this year, the UK government announced its Events Research Programme. Throughout April and May, volunteers attended trial events at nightclubs, stadiums, theatres, concerts and other events venues to establish what kind of coronavirus testing regime and safety measures need to be in place before business is resumed.
Following a preliminary report this week which stated that large events with COVID-tested audiences are no riskier than shopping, The Telegraph reports that just 15 people among the 58,000 who took part in government-run trials had tested positive for COVID-19. It is understood that some of those people were PCR tested before events, meaning they were not able to attend, and others tested positive afterwards.
The events included the FA Cup final and a semi-final at Wembley Stadium in London, as well as the UK Government's first COVID trial club event at Bramley-Moore Dock, which saw 6,000 ravers from the Liverpool City Region postcode dance maskless to the likes of Yousef, Jayda G and The Blessed Madonna across one May weekend.
The UK was 'on target' to remove all pandemic restrictions by 21st June, according to a statement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last month. However, concerns about this fourth and final stage of lockdown easing have increased significantly in recent weeks amid rising cases of the B.1.617.2 COVID-19 variant. First identified in India, and now present in the UK, doctors believe this could be up to 50% more transmissible than the current dominant form of coronavirus.
Several experts, including members of SAGE — the UK Government's advisory committee on health and science policy — and the British Medical Journal, have expressed apprehension over next month's goal, citing the emergence of B.1.617.2 COVID-19 variant, and issues with mass and surge testing as major factors that need to be considered.
DJ Mag went behind the scenes at the UK Government's first COVID trial club event at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool. Watch our mini-doc here.
Elsewhere in the UK, a 10,000 capacity, three-day camping festival pilot is being planned for the UK in mid-June, which will be used to determine the effectiveness of various COVID-19 protocols.
(Photo: Jody Hartley)