The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events (APPG) has welcomed the publication of the Government’s Covid-19 roadmap, announced by the prime minister, 22 February, which sets out the gradual lifting of restrictions and could see the events industry return to some manner of normality by 21 June.
However, the APPG, chaired by Theresa Villiers MP (pictured), has raised what it describes as important areas that require further clarification. The APPG has written to both the secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden and the chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak, requesting further detail on four key areas.
The APPG has written the following:
Pilot events: While the plan to launch another series of pilot events, using testing measures as part of the new Events Research Programme, could help speed up the return of live events of all kinds, given these are not currently scheduled to take place until April, we would request Government bring forward the dates of these, as any further delay in re- opening would be devastating for the sector.
Pandemic insurance: As we have previously advocated, the introduction of a government- backed insurance scheme, as has been initiated by several other countries, would provide increased confidence and security to allow live events to return safely and viably. We therefore urge the Government to implement this as quickly as possible.
G7 Summit: Given the three-day G7 Summit is due to take place in Cornwall from 11 June 2021, how does the Government plan to manage this, given the planned restrictions on large business events are not due to be fully lifted until 21 June 2021.
Financial support: While we again welcome the prime minister’s statement and plan for recovery, it is vital that the chancellor gives full consideration in his forthcoming budget for further tailored support to the events sector, until such time as it is permitted to fully open and return to its pre pandemic operating levels.
A statement from the Group read: “The events sector urgently needs additional clarity on reopening and critical targeted financial support from the Government to ensure that events of all kinds can resume safely, that this vital £80bn world class industry is protected and that events can continue to support the economic recovery that our country so desperately needs, and we look forward to working in partnership with the Government, and the wider events sector, in achieving our shared objectives.”