Trade associations, organisers and operators from across the events industry have signed an open letter confirming that they would welcome a blanket introduction of ‘Covid-status certification’ to get events running without mitigation measures after 21 June in England.
The signatories, which include the Association of Event Organisers, Meetings Industry Association, Association of Event Venues and multiple organisers, said implementation would be subject to the provision of “clear and timely” guidance from the Government and it being “simple to understand and be of little cost to businesses.”
The condition of the industry accepting Covid-status certification, such as proof of vaccination or proof of negative test, would be on the grounds that is only temporary. Individual would test themselves, rather than be tested on site.
“The introduction of Covid-status certificates as a temporary measure could be a pragmatic solution that would enable events to resume at commercially viable attendance levels and will also give further confidence to customers that events are safe to attend,” the letter read.
The statement raises questions, such as defining how long such a requirement would be in place and who would shoulder the costs of the testing and technology required.
The statement continued: “We recognise there are many issues to be addressed including how the technology would work, its viability for use at a range of different events and related data protection issues, for both the attendees and the organisers… It is essential that the industry has visibility and certainty as soon as possible on the form this government guidance will take so that it is able to plan effectively.
“This is particularly important given many major live music and business events are planned from late June and onwards and the sector typically requires a lead time of anywhere between three to six months to successfully stage large scale, organised meetings, events and performances.”
From 17 May, indoor events for up to 1,000 people (or 50% capacity) are expected to be permitted, increasing to 4,000 people outdoors (or 10,000 in outdoor seated stadiums). From 21 June, full mitigation measures such as social distancing are expected to be removed. It is thought that the results of the Event Research Programme – the series of planned pilot events – will determine the requirement of Covid-status certificates so that events can run without Covid restrictions.
Do you support Covid-status certification as a way of opening events? Contact Martin Fullard on firstname.lastname@example.org
The letter and signatories in full