Watch: As Delta variant spreads, should we be lifting restrictions?

In this week’s Northstar Global Update, our top editors discuss the future of hybrid meetings, vaccination rates and concerns about Freedom Day in the UK.

In the latest instalment of this ongoing video series, Northstar invites you into our global content team’s biweekly meetings to hear the latest updates in major international meetings markets. This week, Loren Edelstein, vice president and content director of Northstar Meetings Group, chats with Paul Harvey, editor of M&IT.

Here’s what we discussed:

• Half of US planners are holding hybrid events or plan to do so, per preliminary results of Northstar’s latest PULSE Survey (closing soon; share your experiences today). (0:35)

• About 47 per cent of the US population is fully vaccinated; vaccination rates vary by state, with democratic states generally higher. (See Northstar’s state-by-state roundup on gathering restrictions.) (3:25)

• July 19 is Freedom Day in the UK, and all Covid protocols will be lifted. (4:58)

• Reaction from UK planners is mixed, with some arguing that the government is shirking responsibility and others anxious to resume “normal” business operations. (6:50)

• The Delta variant is surging in the UK, with more than 25,000 new cases per day and growing rapidly. (8:05)

• The UK government has moved the onus for safety onto the public themselves. (10:52)

• Masks won’t be required in the UK, even on public transport — which has caused some public backlash. (11:28)

• The Events Research Programme will publish guidance “at a later date” on what event planners can or can’t do with respect to UK protocols. (13:10)

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