Government releases final reports of events research program

  • More than two million people across 31 events have contributed to an unprecedented body of research on reducing the risk of Covid transmission
  • Results informed UK government’s COVID policy on reopening live events sector

The government today released its final reports of the world-renowned Events Research Program (ERP).

The unprecedented research program was instrumental in the successful reopening of the live events sector, allowing audiences across the country to safely return to watching live events.

The findings are the latest of a number of significant achievements by those involved in the program. Scientists and researchers have developed a large body of publicly available evidence on transmission at major events, contributing to the development and implementation of government policy on reopening and hosting live events. in a COVID secure manner.

Today’s reports summarize the results of the program’s behavioral and environmental studies, a transmission study led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a summary note encompassing the main lessons of the program, including operational results on certification of COVID status.

The transmission study provides a more in-depth analysis of COVID-19 test data related to ERP events. The Data Dashboard (link) published by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Department on Friday August 20 completes this work. This study examines the risk of transmission associated with attending PRA Phase Three events and found that unstructured open-air ERP events, especially festivals, posed the highest risk of event transmission. examined as part of the program.

As noted in today’s post, many factors are likely to have contributed to the higher risk of transmission during these events, including high rates of unvaccinated participants, prevalence in the community at the time of the events studied , the structure of the events and the behavior of the participants. before and after attending these events. Therefore, the results may not be applicable to other contexts.

The Environmental and Behavioral Note released today provides a more in-depth analysis of risk factors and makes recommendations for venues and event planners. This includes how they must continuously consider ventilation, occupancy and movement as part of an overall risk assessment tailored to each site.

The concept note released today provides an overview of the events research agenda, from inception to conclusion. It examines the objectives of the program, the research studies conducted, the impact of certification under it, and other considerations when developing strategies to manage the risk of transmission.

Minister of Sports, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society Nigel Huddleston said:

The Events Research program has pioneered the size and scale of scientific research undertaken at live events and has undoubtedly contributed to the rapid reopening of our crucial commercial, sporting and events sectors. cultural.

The program has provided an important model for event planners around the world to continue to be able to safely plan their events, and a credit to the scientists behind this cutting-edge study.

Professor Dame Theresa Marteau, Chair of the Scientific Council of the Events Research Program, said:

It was a pleasure to lead the Scientific Council that oversaw this large-scale science program that researches the risk of transmission from attending live events to help people get back to doing the things they love.

We have gathered large amounts of data that can be used by the scientific community around the world, event planners and government to better understand the risk of coronavirus transmission during live events so far and how we can. at best keep this risk low.

The events research program spanned four months, encompassing 31 pilots and again welcoming over two million people to the live events industry.

Spanning three complete phases, the ERP used cutting-edge scientific methods to study audience behavior, ventilation, certification, and the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as face masks and social distancing to examine how the risk of transmission of Covid-19 could be reduced and hearings safely returned.

Over 750 temporary cameras captured thousands of hours of footage, along with in-depth CO2 monitoring in 179 individual spaces using 370 monitors, all deployed in one of the largest evidence-gathering programs ever seen in the live events sector.

Read the two science notes and the cover note.


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