BRIT Awards 2021 records zero COVID cases as government test event

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is "very hopeful" venues can reopen fully on June 21

Zero COVID cases emerged from this month’s BRIT Awards 2021, which were held as part of the government’s Events Research Programme.

This year’s ceremony featured a live audience of 4000 fans – largely made up of NHS and key workers – who were not required to wear masks or social distance, having provided a negative coronavirus test beforehand.

No cases of the virus have been linked to the BRITs while just 15 positive results came from the 58,000 people who took part in the government’s research events overall, as reported by the Evening Standard.

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Two cases were linked to this month’s Blossoms gig at Liverpool’s Sefton Park, which was attended by 5000 people. Another nine positive tests came from The First Dance, the city’s two-day clubbing pilot.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden deemed the findings “a real success” and told the newspaper he was “very hopeful” that venues and theatres would be able to reopen at full capacity on June 21 – the final date on the government’s ‘roadmap’ to lifting all social restrictions.

The closing performance at the BRITs 2021. CREDIT: Getty

Further data from other events is yet to be collected before Prime Minister Boris Johnson presents a full report.

A second round of trials has now been commissioned by the government, which will host larger audiences. It comes after Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn revealed plans for a 10,000-capacity festival-style event in “the middle of June”.

“While the club shows and the Sefton Park pilot [in Liverpool] were effectively events that were designed to ensure the enablement of reopening on June 21, the camping event, because it’s three or four days, will actually be about testing the protocol of how to deal with anyone that might have Covid at the event,” Benn explained.

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“It’s about testing the protocols around using Covid certification on the NHS app, and it’s also around testing the protocols of what the SAGE [Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies] scientists here in the UK want, which is at-home testing for all attendees that don’t have the vaccination and that are not immune.”

Benn, who also runs Reading & Leeds, told NME at Blossoms’ Liverpool test show that he believes “festival season really can happen”. R&L is currently due to take place in August, with Latitude and Wireless among the other UK festivals also planning to return this summer.

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