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Events Research Programme: Liverpool Pilots

Volume 695: debated on Thursday 20 May 2021

What steps he plans to take in response to the pilots held in Liverpool and London in May 2021 as part of the events research programme. (900252)

My top priority has been getting back to the things that we love. We have now moved to step 3, but I know that it is essential that we return to events without social distancing at step 4. That is why we have undertaken the events research pilot programme. Pilots including sporting events at Wembley, the Brits and music events in Liverpool have been building up a picture of how the virus spreads in different settings, and we have been looking at a range of factors, including ventilation, testing protocols and people’s behaviour.

The successful and safe reopening of events is, of course, vital to individuals and the economy generally, but particularly in my constituency of Edinburgh West. We have already lost the impact of Edinburgh International Festival each year, but also specifically the Royal Highland Show, which contributes £65 million to the economy, and more than a year of international rugby events at Murrayfield. With the measures that the Secretary of State has outlined, I hope that we will soon be able to host these events again, but will he assure me that the impact of these trials and the lessons learned will be shared with the Scottish Government to ensure that they can also take them forward?

Yes, I am very happy to give the hon. Lady that assurance. This programme has been world-leading. I do not think that any other country in the world has done quite such extensive piloting of events, and the outcomes of the pilots are helping to shape the sort of guidance that we will impose at stage 4 of the road map.