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Big events without masks are no riskier than shopping Published Date: 20/05/2021

Preliminary data, as seen by The Times, suggests that COVID-19 transmission can be significantly reduced at big events by the introduction of screening and improved ventilation.

According to the paper, the results of the trials will be sent to ministers over the next few days, as they work out what to do in the next steps in the fight against COVID-19, with the pilot events being a key detail involved in the decisions.

A government source told The Times that the data was "encouraging", adding: "It will help make the case that these large events are not inherently more risky than other parts of the hospitality sector.

"It shows that there are things that you can do to make these settings as safe as other daily activities.

"It is true that they are not going to be 100% safe but you can lower the risk to a reasonable level."

Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, is leading a review of the evidence for Covid-status certification that is due to report before June 21. Under the present plans, proof of a recent negative test, vaccination or antibody status would be required before people were permitted entry to sectors of the economy such as concerts, sporting events and nightclubs. Ministers do not plan to require certification for entry to pubs and restaurants.