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A nightclub, comedy club and business events venue in Liverpool will be involved in pilot events as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme (ERP), according to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS),

DCMS said it will stage around a dozen pilot sporting and cultural events in spring with audiences and no social distancing. Results of the tests will be delivered in May.

Claire McColgan MBE, director of culture and tourism in Liverpool said, “Liverpool is an event city. They are a critical part of our economy, culture and community and so we are delighted to be working with partners across Government, our colleagues at University of Liverpool and a number of local venues and promoters to plan this series of pilot events.

“Our experience as the pilot city for mass testing means we have the knowledge and infrastructure in place to deliver complicated projects safely, and we really hope we can help provide the evidence needed to ensure the wider sector is able to open across the country in the coming months.”

DCMS said venues participating in the programme will test specific settings to collect evidence and best practice. The pilots will also test a range of non-pharmaceutical mitigating interventions during non-socially distanced events such as layout of the venue, face coverings and ventilation.

Attendees will be required to have a negative test ahead of the event and they will also be tested afterwards to ensure any transmission of the virus is properly monitored.

They will have to adhere to an agreed code of behaviour at the point of ticket purchase. This will include following existing Government guidance on the use of face coverings and adhering to event specific rules.

Attendees will not be permitted if they have symptoms of Covid-19. They will also have to provide contact details of everyone in their group for NHS Test and Trace.

Government said the events research programme will include looking at risk factors in indoor and outdoor settings; small and large venues; seated and standing events and different forms of audience participation.

Transport to and from events; duration of events and catering and alcohol will also be factors that are looked at.

The Events Research Programme will have two co-advisers reporting to the culture secretary and prime minister – theatre director Sir Nicholas Hytner and businessman David Ross.

Ross was the chair of the government’s Sport, Tech and Innovation group, that provided guidance on sports reopening last year.

Their role will be to focus on the measures that need to be taken to ensure the safe return of fuller audiences to revive large sporting and cultural events to closed smaller settings such as gigs and club nights.

The ERP will produce a report to Ministers by the end of May to help inform Government decisions on Step 4 of the roadmap. It will also feed into the Government’s Covid certification review, announced in the roadmap.

Night Time Industries Association CEO Michael Kill welcomed the inclusion of a nightclub in the pilot events scheme. He said, “We continue to work closely with Government Departments on this project, ensuring that some of the hardest hit businesses are represented, with a focus on creating safe environments for people to socialise, with measures which are logistically achievable and viable within the current environments.

“Much of the work being done within the research is around customer behaviour, testing and mitigating measures including ventilation.”