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Only one in four people are planning on attending public events – such as football matches or music gigs - once lockdown restrictions allow, new research reveals today. The figures rise to almost half (47%) of those aged 18-24. The survey, conducted by Yonder on behalf of leading COVID 19 testing company Cignpost ExpressTest, found around half would return to events if measures such as PCR testing, reduced capacity and social distancing, were in place. 

Other findings of the research included:  

  • 21% of respondents would prefer to take a more expensive but reliable PCR test before entering a venue, rather than relying on less accurate lateral flow. 
  • Just one quarter (25%) are currently planning on attending an event 
  • Those who are considering or planning to attend public events are most likely to attend music gigs/events/festivals (57%), professional sport events (35%), food events (32%), theatre/opera events (28%) and retail events/shows (21%)  
  • 47% of those who are considering or planning to attend public events have already bought a ticket or tickets for up-coming events. 

With testing becoming more accessible and the Government’s Roadmap towards ending lockdown restrictions set to end in June, the research was commissioned by Cignpost Express Test to understand people’s appetite to return to public events.  

The findings come amid the news that the Government is examining the role that certifying a COVID-19 free status could play in the opening of events and venues. Pilot events, such as upcoming FA Cup Final, which is due to host 21,000 fans in May, and the final games of the Premier League season, are being explored to determine how spectators could return to events safety in large numbers. The recent Carabao Cup Final at Wembley hosted 8,000 fans.  

Nick Markham, co-founder of Cignpost Express Test, said: “The recent pilot events have shown that there is a pent-up demand for people to attend large events like football matches and concerts. But this new research shows that large numbers of people remain – understandably – ‘Covid-wary’ with protecting health still the number one priority. Event organisers will need to demonstrate that they have the right measures in place to show that they can protect the public from Covid outbreaks.” 

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