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Brit Awards to welcome live audience as part of government test

Brit Awards to welcome live audience as part of government test
© Reuters
The Brit Awards will welcome 4,000 guests to The O2, where there will be no social distancing and no requirement to wear face masks.

Next month's Brit Awards will welcome a live audience of 4,000 people as part of the UK's government test programme for the safe return of mass events.

Last year's ceremony, held in February, was one of the final big events before the UK was plunged into a first national lockdown as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

This year's awards were previously delayed by three months to May 11 due to the ongoing crisis and now the government has confirmed special dispensation for members of the public to attend in person at The O2.

Attendees will only be allowed to enter the arena if they provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test for COVID-19, but once inside they will not be required to maintain social distancing or wear masks.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said: "The Brits are always a big night in the music calendar, but this year's awards will be particularly special.

"They will reunite live audiences with the best of British talent for the first time in a year, while providing a vital opportunity to see how we can get large crowds back safely as soon as possible.

"Music connected us when we were separated by this pandemic, and now it's going to help bring us back together again."

The majority of the 4,000 tickets will be offered to key workers as a thank you for their efforts during the pandemic, while the remainder will go to celebrity attendees, their entourages and other industry guests.

Dua Lipa, Headie One and Arlo Parks are among the music artists performing on the night.

Other events in the government's test programme include the FA Cup final at Wembley, due to be played in front of 21,000 people four days after the Brits; a Liverpool nightclub opening for 3,000 guests on April 30 and May 1; and the EFL Cup final at Wembley, which will welcome 8,000 spectators this Sunday.

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