Covid test event at World Snooker Championship 'has NO positive cases'

Covid test event at the Crucible in Sheffield ‘has recorded NO positive cases so far’ after hundreds of mask-wearing sports fans were allowed inside the World Snooker Championship

  • 300 fans watching matched in the 980-capacity Crucible Theatre in Sheffield 
  • In the six days since it began there have been no cases of Covid whatsoever
  • World Snooker Championship expected to have a full house for May 2 final 
  • FA Cup Final and Brit Awards next major events to run covid-free fan schemes
  • Low infections mean majority of sports and entertainment to open from June 21

The return of fans to sporting events is a roaring success as none of the hundreds of fans watching the World Snooker Championship every day have tested positive for Covid-19, it was revealed today.

The pilot scheme, which has seen 300 people watching the game’s biggest stars in the 900-capacity Crucible Theatre in Sheffield each day, has had no cases at all since it began six days ago.

The success of the trial means that sports stadiums, entertainment venues and other attractions are looking increasingly likely to be reopened from June 21.

One snooker source told the Daily Express: ‘The initial findings from Sheffield have been what everybody has been praying for.

‘We are now being told that it is pretty much a done deal that social distance requirements will come to an end on June 21 and to prepare accordingly.

‘It seems everything is now pretty much in place and it’s just a case of crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s and ensuring the remaining pilot events continue to run without incident.’

Ali Carter pots the black as spectators wearing face masks watch in the background during the Betfred World Snooker Championship this week where fans have returned and no Covid cases have been found

A spectator has their mobile ticket scanned having already proved they have a negative covid test

Spectators were allowed at The Crucible from the beginning of this year’s World Championships which started on Saturday and continues for the next fortnight.

Crowds were restricted to one third of the normal 980-person capacity and people restricted to bubbles of up to four when inside. 

All ticket holders must book to have a free Covid-19 test at their local testing site on the day of the session they are attending or the day before.

They will receive a text message with their test result and they must show their negative result at the Crucible to be allowed in. All spectators will also have to ‘check in’ at the venue using the NHS Track and Trace app.

Attendees must then take a post-event test five days after they were at the tournament and this will be in the form of a free home testing kit.

The aim is for the World Snooker Championship final next month to be staged in front of a full crowd at the Crucible on May 2 to 3.

The tournament is forming part of the Government’s Events Research Programme with capacities increasing over the two-week period and attendees undertaking Covid-19 tests before and after they arrive.

For the first round the Crucible is only be a third full with different ticket groups sat distanced and face masks worn at all times.

Capacity will go up to 50 per cent for the second round and different parties will still be sat apart. But masks will not need to be worn when watching the snooker and social distancing will not have to be observed in the building.

The quarter-finals and semi-finals will operate at 75 per cent capacity, where fans will have to sit next to people they do not know, before the final is played in front of a full house. 

The crucible is a third full for the first round with households sat in bubbles- but by the end of the tournament is planning to have a full house of 980 for the final

Current ticket holders can choose whether they still want to attend or they can transfer to the 2022 tournament or claim a full refund.

This year’s Brit Awards will be one of the first major indoor events to take place since the Covid outbreak as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme.

A live audience of 4,000 will attend the annual music awards ceremony at London’s O2 Arena on May 11 without having to social distance or wear masks.

The star-studded evening, which will see Dua Lipa and Arlo Parks perform, will be one of a series of scientifically controlled pilot events which will help determine how others will operate after June 21.

Organisers hope to pave the way to getting the UK’s live music industry back on track following a difficult year.

While at the event, guests will be exempt from current government guidelines but will have to adhere to them while travelling there and back.

They must have proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the venue and will be also asked to take a test afterwards and sign up to NHS Test and Trace in order to gather evidence on the safety of indoor events.

Evidence and data gathered from this and similar pilot events will be collated to help the government determine how to move forward with all other live indoor event.

Organisers are gifting 2,500 tickets to key workers from the Greater London area to mark their work through ‘the difficult times’ of the pandemic.

The announcement comes after the Grammy Awards hosted a successful 2021 edition in Los Angeles, which saw nominees and performers, including Harry Styles and Beyonce, attend in person but without a live audience.

Vaccine passports for holidays abroad will be ready when foreign travel returns next month, it was claimed last night.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is working on a document for British travellers to show at borders from May 17.

Travel industry bosses have been told that Covid passports to prove people have been vaccinated should be ready by then. Popular tourist destinations including Greece have already signalled they will drop quarantine rules for travellers who have been jabbed.

Industry figures were given the update in a call with Government officials yesterday, The Daily Telegraph reported.

A Government official on the call, between members of the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group, reportedly said: ‘We aim to give people the ability to prove their vaccine status by the time international travel restarts where other countries require it. The earliest that will restart is May 17.’

A DfT spokesman said: ‘We are working on a solution to enable residents to prove their Covid-19 status, including vaccination status, to other countries…

‘We are working on this as a priority and intend to have the solution ready as soon as possible.’

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