“The ERP is running its first phase of 10-15 pilots in April and May to inform decisions on the safe removal of social distancing from Step 4 of the [COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021] roadmap,” reads a gov.uk notice. “The pilots will be run across a range of settings, venue types, and activity types so that findings could support the full reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors.”
Aside from the FA Cup, the pilots also include the World Snooker Championship and League Cup Final, as well as Liverpool’s Luna Cinema, ACC Business Event, and Circus Nightclub. Further events may be announced in due course.
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Oliver Dowden MP, meanwhile, noted: “The government will provide compensation on a discretionary basis to event organisers should a pilot event be cancelled due to public health reasons.
“This compensation will be capped at £300,000 per event and will cover costs incurred in relation to participation in the programme only (e.g. admission of spectators), recognising the fact that these events would have taken place in line with roadmap restrictions should the programme not exist.”
As for the Liverpool events, Dowden said organisers will be compensated in full should an event be cancelled but the £300,000 cap will be applied across the Liverpool events in total instead of per individual event.
“The government do not intend to cancel any event in the programme,” added the MP. “However, public safety comes first and therefore it is prudent to provide this assurance to the organisers assisting the government in reopening the economy.”