10 coronavirus cases linked to clubbing pilots

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Nightclub pilots: the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) published conclusions from Events Research Programme pilot events held this spring (image: Getty/master1305)
Nightclub pilots: the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) published conclusions from Events Research Programme pilot events held this spring (image: Getty/master1305)

Related tags: Legislation, Health and safety, ukhospitality, Coronavirus, lockdown, Nightclub

Nightlife bosses have said the sector has been “marginalised” after a long awaited Government report found just 10 coronavirus cases associated with clubbing pilots.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) published conclusions from Events Research Programme pilot events held this spring, following pressure from businesses.

Across all the events, out of the 15% participants who returned both PCR tests, there were 28 PCR-positive cases recorded.

Some 11 were considered potentially infected before an event and 17 at or after an event.

Liverpool’s Circus warehouse nightclub held two ‘The First Dance’ clubbing pilot events, attended by 3,140 and 3,872 participants respectively. 

Social distancing or face coverings were not required at the event, alcohol and food was sold indoors and participants were tested with lateral flow tests before entering.

Extreme caution

A total of 10 positive PCR tests were linked to the two club nights, held on 30 April and 1 May. 

Across the two club nights, there were three positive tests from the day before up to three days after, which indicate being infectious at the event. 

Two PCR tests were sent to participants to complete after the events with just 7% of night one participants returning both and 6% returning both for night two.

There were also seven positive tests from days four to seven, which indicated a possibility of having caught coronavirus at the event.

The report stressed that the figures should be “interpreted with extreme caution” as many participants did not return tests before and after the tests and there was a low prevalence of the virus at the time.

No substantial outbreaks

No “substantial outbreaks” were identified by public health teams associated with any of the events. 

It was concluded that ‘pinch points’ in venues where attendees might congregate for extended periods of time carry greater transmission risk.

Night-Time Industries Association CEO Micheal Kill said the Government had been “holding back” the report for weeks and welcomed its publication.

He added: “We are being marginalised by a Government that has no regard or value for our sector, we have businesses suffering, people's livelihoods destroyed and youth culture excluded.

“It's time to give us the certainty that we have been crying out for, and open the night time economy fully, no more excuses.”

Desperate to trade

Nightclubs had anticipated reopening on 21 June before the Government pushed back step four of the coronavirus unlocking roadmap to 19 July. 

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said night-time businesses were “desperate to trade their way to recovery and welcome back guests".

She added: “The report’s findings that there were no substantial outbreaks of Covid-19 identified following any of the first phase of test events, along with the continued success of the vaccine programme, should give the Government confidence to go ahead with a full and final lifting of restrictions next month. 

“Hospitality can play its part in the UK’s economic recovery but only if given permission to trade freely.”

Related topics: Legislation

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