National events pilot: your questions answered

Liverpool is to host four events as part of a national events pilot aimed at reopening the cultural and business sectors.

Here we answer some of the most commonly asked questions.

Liverpool Pilot Events – what are they?

The Government’s Event Research Programme (ERP) is planning a number of pilot events to test safety at mass gatherings.

Although this programme is taking place across the country, several of these pilots will be held in Liverpool and will play a vital role in helping provide the scientific evidence which will inform plans for reopening events later this year in line with the announced roadmap out of lockdown.

Will other places be hosting events?

Yes. A range of different pilot events will be taking place across the country, including the World Snooker Championships in Sheffield and the FA Cup final at Wembley.

Why are they happening?

These test events will be crucial in finding ways to get fans and audiences back in safely without social distancing.

The aim is to get people back to enjoying what they love and ensure some of our most important growth industries get back on their feet.

What are they testing?

The programme will test specific settings to collect evidence and best practice.

A number of these pilots will include spectators not socially distanced under carefully controlled medical supervision.

They will also test elements such as layout of the venue, face coverings and ventilation.

The study of each event will be overseen by a team of researchers who will be closely monitoring audience movements and interactions.

Transport to and from events; duration of events and catering and alcohol will also be factors that are looked at.

Is it just about events?

No. This work will be crucial to how many different venues – from major sport stadiums to comedy clubs, theatres to live music spaces, wedding venues to conference centres – could operate this summer.

Will the Liverpool pilot events be safe?

All appropriate measures are being put in place to ensure these events are safe as possible, while also being realistic about the fact that these are scientific pilots.

The design for how audiences will be allowed entry is decided by a science board directly linked to SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies).

All of the event plans will be agreed by government’s Event Research Programme board, they will be scrutinised at a local level by the relevant statutory bodies and go through the same planning process as all normal events.

Attendees will be required to take a test within an agreed timeframe before going to the event and will need to produce a negative result to gain entry.

They will also be tested afterwards to ensure any transmission of the virus is properly monitored.

They will have to adhere to an agreed code of behaviour at the point of ticket purchase. This will include following existing Government guidance on the use of face coverings and adhering to event specific rules.

Those attending will not be allowed in if they have symptoms of Covid-19.

They will also have to provide contact details of everyone in their group for NHS Test and Trace.

Why has Liverpool been chosen?

Liverpool is an event city.

Events are a critical part of our economy, culture and community and so we are delighted to be working with partners across Government, our colleagues at University of Liverpool and a number of local venues and promoters to plan this series of pilot events.

Our experience as the pilot city for mass testing means we have the knowledge and infrastructure in place to deliver complicated projects safely, and we really hope we can help provide the evidence needed to ensure the wider sector is able to open across the country in the coming months.”

What events are taking place?

A range of pilots have been developed in Liverpool based on programme requirements from the Science Board and the ERP board.

So far the plan is for pilot events to take place at:

  • Hot Water Comedy Club at M&S Bank Arena Auditorium
  • The Luna Cinema on the Waterfront (three shows)
  • The Good Business Festival Presents: Change Business for Good at ACC Liverpool
  • Circus Club

Other parts of the event sector are being piloted elsewhere in the country.

How are the events being funded?

The scientific and research aspect of the pilots is being funded by Government.

The majority of the events themselves are paid for ticket commercial events. This is an important factor in the pilot programme as the ERP are keen to understand how test requirements around events might influence audience behaviour around buying a ticket.

Why have these events been chosen?

Government provided a brief for the types of event which they wanted to test as part of the study within Liverpool.

The events and venues which have been chosen by the ERP board reflect the requirements of the scientific brief alongside the wider programme of projects which are being delivered across the country.

Who can attend?

Attendance at events will be strictly controlled and will be by ticket only, and all ticket purchasers must be over 18 and live in the Liverpool City Region.

Tickets will be made available by application and only to those persons who have gone through the Government’s agreed application process. This includes giving their consent to being part of the pilot study and the associated testing requirements.

How can I get tickets/take part?

Details for each of the pilot events will be released in the coming days via the venue or promoter who is delivering the event.

When will the events take place?

All events are being planned to take place in April and early May. This is to ensure that the evidence from the pilot study can be used to inform the decisions being made by central government around the roadmap.

What about if I have had a vaccine?

As this is a scientific study, even people who have had their vaccine must go through the same application and testing process as the rest of the audience.

Is a ‘Covid/Vaccine Passport’ being tested?

No. The ticketing process for the events will require audiences to have had a recent negative Covid test alongside a valid ticket to gain entry to the event.

What if I get a positive test result?

Anyone who purchases a ticket and then is unable to attend as a result of a positive, void or missed test will be given a full refund. If your test is positive then you will be required to quarantine in line with the latest Government guidelines.

What information will I be required to provide as part of this trial?

The information you will be asked to provide will be fully explained prior to purchasing your ticket.

If I purchase a ticket to attend one of the events will the covid rules still apply to me prior to during and after the event?

The Covid rules will apply to you at all times prior to and after the event. The rules that will apply once you are in the event will be clearly explained to you in an email prior to attending the event and signage and staff support will be available during the event to ensure all customers understand the rules applicable to them during the event.

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