The government has been accused of side-lining the night-time economy after a report from the Event Research Programme revealed that there were just 28 covid cases across the nine test events. The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said the data “clearly showed” events were safe.
The NTIA hit out at the Government over what is says is a lack of transparency on evidence available from ERP Report, which could have influenced the decision to ease restrictions saving thousands of businesses and livelihoods.
According to the delayed ERP report there were “no substantial outbreaks” of Covid-19 after mass test events, and confirmed that just 28 cases of Covid-19 were recorded during the ERP’s first nine events – which featured 58,000 attendees and included a music festival and two club nights in Liverpool.
Of those 28 cases, 11 were identified as being potentially infectious at an event, while a further 17 were potentially infected at or around the time of an event.
Michael Kill, CEO NTIA says: “We have worked extremely hard with Government and the industry to deliver safe spaces and explore ways of managing risk in environments from live music, nightclubs, sports events and other large scale gatherings. While it seems that the data from these pilot programmes is readily available, it has not been factored into the Prime Minister’s consideration on the removal of restrictions and easing of lockdown on the 21st June.”
These damning leaks reveal much of what we already know: that businesses will be devasted by ongoing restrictions and that well-regulated events have not contributed to huge spikes in infections. The Government needs to release the report on the as a matter of urgency, in its entirety, and start acting with integrity and transparency when making business critical decisions on an entire sector.”
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls added: “The report acknowledges, across the course of the pandemic, businesses reliant on events have been hit disproportionately hard by the restrictions in place on operating venues, such as social distancing and capacity limits. This has resulted in significant and widespread commercial impact and ongoing loss of revenue. These businesses have needed to rely heavily on government support, which has been welcome, but are now desperate to trade their way to recovery and welcome back guests. The report’s findings there were no substantial outbreaks of covid-19 identified following any of the first phase of test events, along with the continued success of the vaccine programme, should give the government confidence to go ahead with a full and final lifting of restrictions next month. Hospitality can play its part in the UK’s economic recovery but only if given permission to trade freely.”