UK mass events without masks or social distancing as safe as shopping, early evidence suggests

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  • The preliminary results are in from the government's Events Research Programme.
  • UK mass events without masks or social distancing as safe as shopping, early evidence suggests image
  • Attending mass events in the UK, including raves, without masks or social distancing is as safe as going shopping or to a restaurant, early evidence suggests. Preliminary data from the government's Events Research Programme (ERP) shows that screening, ventilation and other mitigating factors significantly reduce the risk of a big outbreak at large events like concerts, raves and football matches, The Times reports. "We are still waiting for the final bits of data but the results so far have been very encouraging," a government source told The Times. "It will help make the case that these large events are not inherently more risky than other parts of the hospitality sector. It shows that there are things that you can do to make these settings as safe as other daily activities." Boris Johnson's government is expected to use the final data to shape how the UK emerges from lockdown, though the results won't factor in the newly concerning B.1.617 strain, AKA Indian variant, which could scupper plans to fully reopen on June 21st. The results are also expected to boost the case for Covid-status certification, The Times reports, meaning large events would be more accessible for those willing to take tests beforehand or who have antibodies or have been vaccinated. A decision on this is due to be announced before June 21st. One of the events in the ERP was a two-part rave in Liverpool hosted by Circus. Guests had to show a negative lateral flow test before arriving, but otherwise could mix and dance without restrictions. Photo credit: Jody Hartley