Public health impact of mass gatherings

Content originally from Public Health England

Public Health England has reported on a study of 37 public sports and cultural events held in England over a 4-month period earlier this year, concluding that it is possible for properly-organised, mass-participation events to be held safely and without generating significant increases in COVID-19 community infection rates.

The study was a continuation of the Events Research Programme – a joint project involving PHE and NHS Test and Trace, the earlier, first-phase findings of which were published in July.

The new study report, Public health impact of mass sporting and cultural events in a rising COVID-19 prevalence in England, presents data from more recent events (including attendance numbers, NHS Test and Trace data, estimations of the positive cases arising from attendance at the events and levels of community prevalence at the time).

Although the EURO 2020 football matches held at Wembley on 7 and 11 July, 2021, were exceptions (in that they were associated with subsequent spikes in cases across the country), cases observed in and around the other events were in line with, or below, community prevalence.