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Stick to the timetable, Boris! Top eventprofs sign letter to PM

A number of leading eventprofs have signed a letter encouraging Boris Johnson to stick to the planned reopening timetable in England.

Among the signatories to the letter are Simon Hughes, chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP), Chris Skeith, CEO of the Association of Event Organisers (AEO), Rachel Parker, director of the Association of Events Venues (AEV), Andrew Harrison, direct of the Event Suppliers and Services Association and Jeremy Rees, CEO of ExCeL London.

The letter says: “We write to you to maintain the current reopening timetable in England, notwithstanding the unfortunate interruption in vaccine supply and rising cases in Europe. The UK vaccination programme is a huge success that has protected the most vulnerable in our society and it continues to meet the first of the four criteria that you announced in February. The other three criteria are also currently being met. Now for reasons of both social and economic health, we must continue to reopen.”

The letter also urges the prime minister to expand the use of testing to allow England to keep to the original timetable, while also protecting against a third wave such as that currently being seen in Europe.

“We are a global trading nation,” it adds. “We urge you and the Global Travel Taskforce to adopt a pragmatic risk-based approach to international travel restrictions, which combines a safe countries list with testing and vaccine certification to create a form of health passport.

“We can emerge from this crisis having delivered the most successful vaccination programme in the G7 and reopening in a way that avoids increased spread. This will send the powerful message to our friends around the world that the UK remains an international powerhouse, punching above our weight economically, politically and culturally.

“Please keep to the reopening timetable you set out in February, which will allow us to bounce back rapidly from the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic and to rebuild our lives.”

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