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PM urges caution as events to go ahead uncapped

The UK Government has confirmed an end to coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England, allowing a return to full-scale events.

Boris Johnson announced a number of measures will no longer be legally enforced from Monday July 19 at his briefing on Monday, but urged the public and organisers to use caution.

Restrictions on travel to England from amber list countries for non-UK residents remain in place despite changes for those who live in the country.

However, Downing Street has said plans are being explored to remove quarantine rules for some who have been fully vaccinated.

The Prime Minister said: “This pandemic is not over. This disease coronavirus continues to carry risks for you and for your family.

“We cannot simply revert instantly from Monday to life as it was before Covid.

“We will stick to our plan to lift legal restrictions and to lift social distancing, but we expect and recommend that people wear a face-covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with those you don’t normally meet, such as on public transport.”

The announcement comes after a series of pilot events which have been taking place since June 21 as part of efforts to restart events safely.

This has included attendees needing to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test.

Among those involved were Uefa Euro 2020 matches at Wembley and a small number of other sports, arts and music performances.

Crowd restrictions are among the measures which are to be removed, meaning that events will no longer have their capacities capped.

Organisers will also now be able to choose if face coverings are compulsory at their gatherings, while the same also applies for proof of vaccination, negative test or natural antibodies.

Mr Johnson added: “As a matter of social responsibility, we’re urging nightclubs and other venues with large crowds to make use of the NHS Covid Pass – which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or natural immunity – as a means of entry.”

The UK Government has previously said it is “exploring plans” to remove quarantine for vaccinated non-residents arriving from amber countries later this summer “where it is safe to do so”, but there was no development in the latest announcement.

Devolved administrations across the rest of the UK will make their own decisions, however conference and exhibition centres can reopen in Northern Ireland from July 26 and announcements from Scotland and Wales are expected to follow.

Prior to this development, the pandemic forced a digital transformation of events and conferences which is unlikely to disappear.

This is due to ongoing concerns over public safety and opportunities which have been opened up virtually.

Organisers have re-invented their event strategy by creating a model that blends physical and virtual experiences.

These hybrid events accommodate both in-person attendees and a virtual audience.

This helps those who cannot travel to the venue – included non-UK residents who still face harsher restrictions – or those who are still concerned about meeting face-to-face.

Another advantage of hybrid events is it allows room to build and expand audience relationships without the limitations of time and geography. 

Hybrid events give organisers options for new methods of content sharing, exhibiting and sponsorship, creating new revenue streams and lead generation opportunities.

Our Hybrid Blueprint outlines how you can make the most of this and engage with your community by taking a mixed approach of in-person and online.