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Pilot Events

10 May 20213m read

The Government recently revealed finer details regarding the Event Research Programme – the series of pilot events which will determine the manner by which events will be allowed to operate post 21 June.

Some of these pilot events have already taken place,  including the FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley with an audience of 4000 and a Comedy Club night for 300 in Liverpool. Snooker World Championships are happening as we speak and will run at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield until 3 May,  with an audience of up to 1000 people a day,  and an indoor club night at Circus Nightclub in Liverpool took place on the 30th April.

On 28 April ACC Liverpool hosted the UK’s first business festival since national lockdown began in March 2020

Faye Dyer, managing director of The ACC Liverpool Group, said: “Change Business for Good felt like a truly pivotal moment as we aim to return to hosting business events as soon as it is safe to do so. We were thrilled to be chosen to host the government’s only business event pilot and to be playing a significant role in this important step towards the reopening of our industry. We have all adapted to a new landscape over the past year but nothing can replace face to face meetings. It was wonderful for delegates to be able to attend in person and fully interact during this milestone conference.”

The pilots have been designed in a scientifically controlled way, with special consideration to reduce risk of transmission. The events are exempt from the wider coronavirus regulations, including the rule of six and social distancing. The Government has made it clear that for the purposes of the pilot events, there will be no need for any form of vaccination certificate. However, this does not mean that they won’t be introduced at a later date.

The programme is being overseen by an industry-led steering group working with national and local public health authorities. The board will consider the evidence, including test results, from the pilot events and make recommendations to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Secretaries of State for DCMS, BEIS and DHSC as to how restrictions could be safely lifted. These recommendations will be made to the aforementioned departments in the week leading up to 21 June, which may not leave organisers of early events with much time to implement any last- minute changes.

The pilots will explore how different approaches to social distancing, ventilation and test-on-entry protocols could ease opening and maximise participation. The evidence from these pilots will be used to inform and shape government policy  in order to bring about the phased return of fuller audiences to venues and events up and down England.


The Government has said that decisions will be guided by a Science Board of relevant experts including senior Public Health England representation, who will take into account the latest public health data. The events are scientific trials, and each event may have different criteria for the selection of participants.

Hand sanitiser will be available at all events. Attendees have been asked to bring their own face masks as they may still be required to wear them around the venue.

The Government has also said that attendees will be subject to scientifically and ethically designed pre- and post-event monitoring, in order to gather evidence associated with different settings and approaches to managing and mitigating transmission risk.


Attendees must produce a negative lateral flow test result from that day or the day before to enter the scientific pilot event. Testing will largely be delivered through the existing community testing network, with results validated by the event organisers before ticket holders are admitted to the venue.

The majority of attendees at the ERP events will be local to the venue. However, attendees with valid ERP tickets can travel to the event in line with HMG guidance.

Under Step 2 of the roadmap, fans travelling to and from events will only be permitted to stay in self-contained accommodation where indoor facilities are not shared with other households.

Read government information here

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