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Sports: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL14723, tabled on 12 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that disabled people will be allowed to attend sporting competitions, including events that are part of the pilot programme enabling the safe return of mass gatherings, as COVID-19 regulations ease in England.

Answered on

26 April 2021

The Events Research Programme (ERP) is running its first phase of 10-15 pilots in April and May to inform decisions around the safe removal of social distancing at Step 4 of the Roadmap. The pilots will be run across a range of settings, venues, and activities so that findings will support the full reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors.

We fully recognise the importance of these inclusion concerns and are reflecting on issues of diversity, inclusion and equality in the Events Research Programme, ensuring the pilot events cover a range of age groups, ethnicities, geographic location and accessibility.

The pilot events are the first steps to helping all members of the public safely back to mass events and these have been developed under a SAGE framework in line with the latest PHE and DHSC guidance.

Our Science Board has reviewed the Events Research Programme’s approach to clinically extremely vulnerable individuals attending the pilot events.

They strongly urge caution for the clinically extremely vulnerable attending the events on public health grounds, however these groups are not excluded from involvement in the pilots.

All attendees are required to fill out a consent form as part of the sign up process for the research programme, given the increased risk of COVID 19 transmission on account of the relaxation of some risk mitigation factors (social distancing and numbers attending).

For each pilot event, a Public Sector Equality Duty impact assessment is being carried out before each event which considers the impact of this scientific study on groups with protected characteristics, including those with disabilities.