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BRIT Awards to have thousands-strong audience and no social distancing as part of UK government test

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Comedian Jack Whitehall will once again host the BRIT Awards
Comedian Jack Whitehall will once again host the BRIT Awards   -   Copyright  Joel C Ryan/2020 Invision
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Thousands of people will attend the BRIT Awards in May, without social distancing, as part of the UK government’s research into safely restarting large events with crowds.

The music award ceremony is welcoming 4,000 people to London’s O2 arena on May 11, with attendees required to have proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test prior to entry.

There won’t be social distancing and they won’t have to wear masks while seated.

Those who attend will be asked to take a test afterwards, so government scientists can see what effect indoor events have on spreading coronavirus.

It’s part of a wider trial of events that began with a comedy show in Liverpool on April 16 for 300 ticket holders.

There have since been thousands of spectators at football matches at Wembley Stadium, including the FA Cup semi-final and Sunday’s League Cup final.

The information gathered from these events will be used to see how large gatherings can be held safely in different types of venues, with varying approaches to social distancing, ventilation and testing.

The UK has recently started to ease its lockdown measures, reopening pubs and restaurants for outdoor seating, and allowing non-essential retail to start once again.

The country has the highest number of confirmed COVID deaths in Europe, but the daily case numbers have fallen dramatically since the peak at the start of the year, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the pandemic is “well under control”.

At least 2,500 tickets for the BRIT Awards are being given for free to key workers who have supported society through the pandemic.

The event will have live performances from Dua Lipa, Headie One and Arlo Parks, among others.