Full crowds return to music and sporting events


Safe events

Safety and health practitioner

Eight positive cases of coronavirus recorded among fans who attended FA Cup and Carabao Cup matches.

A total of 58,000 people attended the sporting and cultural events of the first phase of the ERP in April and May, with 28 positive cases for COVID-19; 11 of these people were “potentially contagious during an event”, with 17 others potentially infected at or around the time of the event.

There were eight positive cases of COVID-19 recorded among the 30,000 people who attended the FA Cup semi-final, FA Cup final and Carabao Cup final, six more were recorded among more than 10,000 spectators who attended the 17 days of the Mondial Snooker Championship, the report on the first phase of the The government’s Events Research Program (ERP) said.

The report comes a week after it was announced that the capacity of the Euro 2020 matches at Wembley Stadium in London to drop from 22,500 to around 45,000 (around 50% of capacity) for the second round matches between Italy and Austria, and England and Germany, before being increased to nearly 75% of capacity, around 60,000 for the semi-finals and the final in July.

Full capacity


Sheffield’s Crucible Theater was at full capacity for the World Championship final on May 2, becoming the first venue in over a year to see a large crowd at a sporting event in the UK.

Since the Cheltenham Festival in March 2020, a large crowd had not attended a sporting event in the UK. The Snooker World Championship Final, between Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy, Sunday May 2 was the first in a series of government-authorized test events that were able to accommodate large crowds. The tournament kicked off on May 17 at 33% capacity.

The night before, Liverpool clubbers returned to a warehouse night trial – the first time that a club has been authorized to reopen since the start of the pandemic. 6,000 people were expected during the two-day event. Ticket holders were not required to socially distance themselves or wear face covers, but needed a negative COVID test result before being allowed entry. Here, SHP spoke to Eddy Grant, director of Symphotech, the company behind the event’s security, to take a look back at how it went and what it means for upcoming events.

Independent group Blossoms titled a 5,000 capacity event, also in Liverpool on Sunday evening. The mini-festival in the city’s Sefton Park required ticket holders to take a supervised lateral flow test at one of the city’s four test centers the day before, and was only allowed entry if the test was negative. The BBC reports that festival-goers were also strongly encouraged to take more sensitive PCR tests on the day of the show and do it again five days later. This will be crucial in determining whether there has been any spread of the virus.

The UK’s first full capacity concert was due to take place on May 29, when James Blunt was expected at the Royal Albert Hall, but this has since been postponed. Odeon Cinemas announced they will reopen on most of their sites on May 17th.

Green light for Wembley Stadium

8,000 fans were given the green light to enter the national stadium on Sunday 25 April – the second time spectators have been allowed to enter the stadiums since the application of Britain’s third lockdown. Jack Bibb reported from the event …

Wembley stadiumIn February 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined steps in a four-part roadmap to lift the coronavirus lockdown.

As part of the plan, the Prime Minister announced that: “The turnstiles of our sports stadiums will turn again”, with up to 10,000 fans expected to be back in the main sports stadiums by mid-May .

The government has proposed a series of “pilot” events in cooperation with the English Football League (EFL) which would see a small proportion of fans attending two matches at Wembley Stadium.

The FA Cup semi-final between Leicester City and Southampton on April 18 was the first game to reintroduce fans to a stadium, with 4,000 local residents successfully watching the clash at Wembley Stadium.

A week later, the ‘Maison du Football’ reopened its doors; this time to 8,000 spectators – a mix of club supporters, NHS staff and local residents.

2,000 tickets awarded to Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur fans, the rest being distributed in the local area.

The residents filled out a ballot paper, which was communicated to them via their departmental council. If successful, they then had to complete a consent form and return a negative lateral flow test, no more than 24 hours before the game.

One participant said: “Getting a lateral flow test was straightforward, thanks to Wembley Stadium communicating the information clearly.

“There was plenty of time available to book and the test itself only took ten minutes.”

According to the official government website, the ‘R-value’ currently stands between ‘0.8 and 1.0’ – one of the lowest values ​​in the UK since the peak of the pandemic around September.

However, the necessary protocols were still applied inside the site to ensure the safety of all participants.

As with every large-scale sporting event, bag controls and other general safety procedures were in place to prevent any prohibited object from entering the ground.

Social distancing

Wembley stadiumDaytime coronavirus protocols included wearing a mask at all times – except for eating and drinking – and best-possible social distancing, which we have now become accustomed to in day-to-day life.

Although some people have reserved seats with family members or friends, spectators were allocated seats separate from each other to reduce the risk of the potential spread of the virus – stewards would instantly separate all spectators seated together .

Disinfection stations were plentiful in and around the floor and staff actively encouraged the use of these machines.

Reflecting on the measures put in place, one spectator said: “During the event, I felt as safe as possible.

“It is important that when this lockdown is over, we make sure that we do everything we can, so that progress is not interrupted. Wembley Stadium was brilliant in securing the event.

Another fan agreed, saying, “I felt completely safe, everyone around me was wearing their mask at all times.

“The spacing between the fans helped me feel comfortable. I felt distant enough to be safe, but still involved in the atmosphere of the crowd.

Participants were asked to take a home PCR test five days after the event. It wasn’t mandatory, just a request from the event organizers to help with data collection and research.

Test events

The test event was considered a success and, as such, the government allowed 21,000 supporters to be able to attend the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester on May 15.

The Wimbledon tennis tournament, which kicked off in London on June 28, is expected to have crowds during the men’s and women’s finals. All England Lawn Tennis Club chief executive Sally Bolton previously told the BBC that measures have been put in place, such as requiring all players to stay in hotels, rather than renting private property, for the duration of the tournament and fines will be imposed for breach of regulations COVID.

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