Large capacity social events are just as safe as dining in a restaurant, study says

New research has found that events with the capacity of hosting thousands of people at once have just as low of a risk of COVID outbreaks as small gatherings.

Big crowds of large social gatherings such as sporting events, music festivals and even night clubs mask-free are said to be just as safe as smaller scale get togethers like eating out at restaurants or going shopping.

Rules must be followed

Early data has shown that as long as pre-entry COVID testing as well as temperature checking are practiced, events with the capacity of accommodating large crowds have just as low of a risk of causing mass coronavirus outbreaks as any other gathering.

The research was conducted by the Events Research Programme (ERP) which has been able to analyze transmission rates after examining ways of reopening mass-attendance venues by trialing safety measures at recent events in the UK.

Trialing of several events

In particular, the FA CUP Final on Saturday saw 21,000 mask-free fans returning to Wembley to watch Leicester City's victorious match, making it the UK's largest crowd since the beginning of the pandemic more than a year ago.

The Brit Awards—with 4,000 people in attendance—and a 3,000-person two-night rave at a Liverpool nightclub were also used as test trials to see if hosting large-capacity events would generate surges in transmission. Results from all three large-scale events showed that as long as strict safety guidelines were followed, such as good ventilation and pre-testing of all attendees, the risk of outbreaks were kept at a minimum.

With the new Indian variant makes waves throughout England, the ERP is now looking to send further data to see if the mutated strain will affect the possibility of hosting further events. A government source explained:

We are still waiting for the final bits of data but the results so far have been very encouraging. It will help make the case that these large events are not inherently more risky than other parts of the hospitality sector.

Adding that:

It shows that there are things that you can do to make these settings as safe as other daily activities.
Coronavirus: Is it still safe to go out to restaurants? Coronavirus: Is it still safe to go out to restaurants?