xi's moments
Home | Europe

UK to test large-event safety amid pandemic at BRIT Awards

By ANGUS McNEICE | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-04-23 09:02

Four thousand people will attend the BRIT Awards at the indoor O2 Arena in London next month, thanks to a United Kingdom government-led program that looks at how large events can return safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Audience members will not be socially distanced or have to wear masks at the event on May 11, which will feature performances from break-out British star Griff and platinum-selling English artist Dua Lipa.

Attendees will, however, need to take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test at home before and after the show, and also produce a negative COVID-19 lateral fl ow test taken on the day of the event, or the day before.

The O2 arena is a closed venue with a normal capacity of around 20,000. Researchers will monitor attendees before and after the show, to gather data on the safety of restarting large indoor events in the UK, which banned mass gatherings in March 2020 to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"The BRITs are always a big night in the music calendar, but this year's awards will be particularly special," said Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden. "They will reunite live audiences with the best of British talent for the first time in a year, while providing a vital opportunity to see how we can get large crowds back safely as soon as possible."

Each year, the Rising Star Award is given out in the lead-up to the BRITs, which is the highest-profile pop music awards show in the UK.This year's recipient is 20-year-old singer-songwriter Sarah Faith Griffiths, who goes by the name Griff, and whose mother is Chinese.

"In my head, I'm still screaming from the phone call when I found out," Griff said after her win. "It's honestly such a miracle: how on earth did we manage to win a BRIT and break through during a pandemic?"

The BRIT Awards is among several pilot events included in the government's Events Research Program, which started last week when 300 people attended an indoor comedy club in Liverpool. On Saturday, around 300 audience members went to the opening day of the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield, and the program is expanding crowd numbers as the competition continues.

The program also includes major outdoor events, which will host larger crowds.

The FA Cup semi-final had an audience of 4,000 last weekend, and 8,000 soccer fans will attend the League Cup Final on Sunday, with a further 21,000 expected at Wembley Stadium in London for the FA Cup final on May 15.

"These planned pilots mean we can gather the necessary evidence to inform our plans for future events, ensuring mass events can take place safely," said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349