Government publishes final Events Research Programme results

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More than 30 events participated in ERP, paving the way for the return of live music after the lockdown

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The government has published the final results of the Event Research Program.

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More than 30 pilot programs took place over a period of four months to determine the safety of mass gatherings following the COVID lockdown.

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Included in the event were an outdoor blossom show at Sefton Park in Liverpool, the BRIT Awards 2021 ceremony, the Download Festival and Latitude – the first of which to return to full capacity since the ban was lifted on 19 July.


Back in August, data from NHS Test and Trace showed that “mass participation events can be held safely” while urging caution about “specific aspects of event participation”. It took into account all the three phases of ERP.

It found that “case numbers for the duration of the program were largely in line with or below the community infection rate”. However, the potential risks involved in participating in “unstructured events” were noted. This also includes traveling and mixing indoors before, during and after events.

Published on 26 November, the final ERP report indicated that “several factors have contributed to the high transmission risk in these events, including high rates of non-vaccinated attendees, community prevalence at the time of study events, composition of events and , and the behavior of the attendees till and after attending these events.

Crowds at the Latitude Festival 2021 at Henham Park in Southwold on July 25, 2021 (Picture: Dave J Hogan / Getty Images)

“Therefore, the results may not be applicable to other contexts.”

Meanwhile, attendees’ “personal exposure” was found to be “dependent on social interactions, on interactions with the environment, and on individual journeys through an event”.


According to the findings, there was little evidence of an increase in COVID transmission by attending events in the following categories: predominantly outdoor seated, predominantly outdoor partially seated or indoor seated theater events studied.

However, it is said that “care is needed” when interpreting these results, some theater events, for example, run at or below 50 percent capacity.

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Predominantly seated outdoor events (including latitude and tramlines) were associated with a 1.7-fold increased risk of COVID-19 transmission among attendees (95 percent confidence interval between 1.52 and 1.89).

“For context, the risk of infection in the baseline period for Latitude attendees in the study was ~0.9 percent; an increase of 70 percent would bring this risk to 1.53 percent. This confidence interval means that a large number of attendees at these events The estimate of 70 percent is strong due to people (over 2000).

It continued: “This difference in transmission risk is likely to be multifactorial and may include behavior during the event, overall event size and duration, or mode of travel to and from the event.

Tramlines 2021. credit: getty

“It should also be noted that these results are set against the background of a particular epidemiological situation, and the possibility remains that new variants arise that are more transmissible and more permeable than the vaccines encountered in our studies. are probably less reactive, which would change the transmission risk. ,

Elsewhere, the document states that “it is not yet possible to directly determine the passive exposure of aerosol particles that carry viruses from ambient air. However, poor air quality, inadequate ventilation, short distances between individuals” Or prolonged and repeated exposure with limited compliance with face coverings increases the risk.

“This was found to differ significantly between locations and even within the same event, meaning that customers may choose less risky environments and behaviors to reduce their individual exposure to employees. risk assessment and potentially additional mitigation should be considered separately.”

Analysis of the data will continue with “further investigation of key risk factors” used for new modeling and to inform policy guidance. It is said that locations should take into account “ventilation strategy, occupancy, operation, space use, and movement of people within each venue’s tailored overall risk assessment”.

Professor Dame Theresa Marteau, Chair of the Events Research Program Science Board, said: “It is a pleasure to lead the Science Board, which oversees this massive science-major event, in live events to help people Is researching the risk of transmission from participating.Back to doing the things they love.

“We have gathered vast amounts of data that can be used by the scientific community, event organizers and government around the world to best understand the risk of transmission of the coronavirus at live events to date and how we can reduce this risk. can.

You can read the full result Here,

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