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Coronavirus latest: Attending events no riskier than catching bus, say associations

Attending events during the coronavirus outbreak is no riskier than catching the bus or taking the train.

That’s the message that a trio of industry associations is sending to government, seeking greater support, reassurance and positive public messaging in the face of the epidemic.

The Association of Event Venues (AEV), Association of Event Organisers (AEO), and Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) said that the advice that attending events is of no greater risk than catching the bus or the train reflects private messaging received by the industry from the chief medical officer.

In a joint statement, the AEV, AEO and ESSA said: “We are specifically seeking support from the UK Government to help reassure our customers, as we enter a critical time in the spring show season. We are seeking some positive public messaging in line with current advice from the chief medical officer, outlining that people should remain confident in attending organised events, and there are no greater risks associated with attending events than any other significant gathering of people, such as public transport. This advice reflects private messaging received by the industry from the chief medical officer.

“As well as engaging in existing meetings and groups we have written to the Prime Minister, minister for tourism, business secretary and secretary of state for international trade, seeking support and meetings at the highest level to provide more information and elaborate on our industry’s challenges.

“This is having profound and serious consequences for our industry, and we are determined to support and assist our members in meeting this fast-moving challenge, at what is a busy time of year for the whole event industry.”

Since the virus first emerged as a potential public health threat in January, the AEV, AEO and ESSA have been supporting their members in a number of ways, including representing members to government and agencies at the highest level, to help ensure business continuity for their members and the industry at large.

From the onset, association members have been able to share knowledge and information in real-time, sharing concerns and potential solutions, as well as accessing the most current and authoritative information from numerous official bodies and agencies.

In addition, the three associations have also been relaying member and industry concerns to the government, emphasising that while the industry is committed to public safety, they are facing unprecedented challenges in reassuring their customers that events are still happening and are safe to attend according to the current advice from the Chief Medical Officer and other authorities.