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Study shows large events without masks or social distancing just as safe as shopping, eating out

A widespread study being organized by the U.K. government has so far reportedly found that hosting large gatherings without masks or social distancing is no riskier to the public than opening restaurants or shopping centers.

“Holding mass events without masks and social distancing can be as safe as going to a restaurant or shopping centre, government trials suggest,” The Times reported on Tuesday.

“Preliminary data from the [Events Research Programme] is understood to have found that with screening, improved ventilation and other mitigating factors the risk of virus transmission can be significantly reduced, reducing fears that sports matches and concerts could cause big outbreaks,” the report said.

Since early last month, the U.K. government has been running large-scale testing through an initiative called the Events Research Programme, which aimed to “examine the risk of transmission of Covid-19 from attendance at events and explore ways to enable people to attend a range of events safely.”

As a part of the initiative, government researchers selected several “pilot events” with a range of criteria, including differing audience capacities and outdoor and indoor venues, to test a number of mitigating factors in order to determine how to reopen large venues safely.