UK Covid testing only yields 15 cases as June 21 hopes rise –

UK Covid testing only yields 15 cases as June 21 hopes rise – fr

HThe opportunity for the West End to come back to life from June 21 received a huge boost as the Culture Secretary revealed the results of the biggest crowd event testing to date.

In an exclusive interview with the Evening Standard, Oliver Dowden revealed that only 15 cases of Covid-19 emerged among 58,000 people who took part in events ranging from the Brit Awards to the FA Cup final.

  • Only four cases of Covid have occurred in the entire 17 days of the World Snooker Championships, held indoors at the Crucible Theater in Sheffield.
  • No case emerged from the British, although the public could mingle at tables and in boxes without masks.
  • There were only two cases among 5,900 pop fans at an outdoor music festival in Sefton Park, Liverpool, and no cases of reduced capacity football at Wembley Stadium, indicating that the festivals of summer, sporting events and outdoor entertainment are very safe.
  • Nine cases were found among 6,000 revelers who packed up at a nightclub in Liverpool for two days without a mask. The relatively higher incidence confirmed that clubbing is the most difficult part of the nighttime economy to bring back safely, but is not considered to be so high as to preclude reopening of venues.
Mr Dowden, delighted, said: “Overall it has been a real success.” He said he was “hopeful” that June 21 will see the West End’s theaters and other venues reopen on a large scale.
He announced that the government was commissioning a second round of trials involving even larger crowds at key venues to deepen ministers’ understanding of how to handle events and the public safely, including the possible role that so-called Covid passports could play.
Standard understands that European Championship matches at Wembley Stadium will likely be included in the study, meaning fans could enjoy the matches amid the roar of a large crowd.
“I hope that by June 21 we will light up the West End again, have full stadiums and bring light and Technicolor back into our national life,” the minister said.
The results of the first round of testing will play a crucial role in helping determine Boris Johnson’s decision on whether to end social distancing in the fourth stage of the roadmap, which is due to go into effect on June 21.
Mr Dowden said his “laser-like focus” was on hoping to end the restrictions, again allowing capacity crowds in theaters, cinemas, clubs, museums and music venues without distancing social or masks.
“This is what success looks like to me,” he said. “I think we’re making good progress along the line in bringing the West End back to life.”
He declined to predict what the prime minister would decide, but hoped even nightclubs could reopen with “mitigating measures” such as additional ventilation or testing.


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