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Latitude boss reveals plan for pubs and music venues to reopen at full capacity

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 June 2020 | UPDATED: 09:15 12 June 2020

Latitude Festival boss Melvin Benn has announced his 'Full Capacity Plan' to enable the events industry to reopen fully by November Picture: Nick Butcher

Latitude Festival boss Melvin Benn has announced his 'Full Capacity Plan' to enable the events industry to reopen fully by November Picture: Nick Butcher

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The boss of Latitude Festival, which was cancelled this summer due to coronavirus, has outlined a plan of how the entertainment industry could reopen fully by November.

Latitude boss Melvin Benn has a plan which involves people being required to take a mandatory test for Covid-19 to access events, so social distancing is not required Picture: Jamie HoneywoodLatitude boss Melvin Benn has a plan which involves people being required to take a mandatory test for Covid-19 to access events, so social distancing is not required Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Melvin Benn, the managing director of Festival Republic who run Latitude, has released his ‘Full Capacity Plan’ which is being pitched as a “genuine alternative to social distancing”.

It involves creating an incentive-based testing scheme, which would require a mandatory test for Covid-19 for people to access the entertainment and hospitality sectors.

In turn, it would only permit entry to sporting events, pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, gigs and theatre shows to those that have recently tested negative.

To implement his plan, he would help the government rapidly increase the use of their NHSX tracing app and make every trip to an event or going out to eat and drink a motivation to test.

READ MORE: Restaurant and hotel announces reopening date

Under the proposal, anyone who has booked an event would be asked to download the app and obtain a home-testing kit which would be made available locally.

Under the plan, theatres could be allowed to operate at full capacity from November. Pictured is Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive Stephen Crocker Picture: Ella WilkinsonUnder the plan, theatres could be allowed to operate at full capacity from November. Pictured is Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive Stephen Crocker Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Those that test negative for Covid-19 would receive an in-app certificate to allow access and they would also need it to enter pubs and nightclubs.

The certificate would then be time-limited with its validity depending on the infection rate at that time and medical advice.

Mr Benn said: “We are currently in a position where the government has capacity to test 1.4 million people a week but is testing less than 700,000 because there is no incentive.

It is hoped the plan will remove the need for social distancing. Pictured is Let's Rock 2019 at Earlham Park. Picture: Lee BlanchflowerIt is hoped the plan will remove the need for social distancing. Pictured is Let's Rock 2019 at Earlham Park. Picture: Lee Blanchflower

READ MORE: What will theatre shows and gigs look like post-lockdown?

“My plan is to create incentive, to test at least double the current capacity and be aiming for 12 to 15 million people a month being tested minimum.

“I am proposing The Full Capacity Plan to stimulate the debate about getting back to normal opening rather than partial opening because partial opening is a financial disaster.”

He proposes a national awareness campaign in June and July, trialling at selected events in August and September and by November the industry to fully restart.

He also says there would be additional hygiene measures, health screenings on the door and touchless security measures at events.


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