Re-opening live events and large venues after Covid-19 ‘lockdown’: Behavioural risks and their mitigations

John Drury*, M. Brooke Rogers, Theresa M. Marteau, Lucy Yardley, Stephen Reicher, Clifford Stott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
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This article reviews the behavioural risks and possible mitigations for re-opening large venues for sports and music events when Covid-19 infection rates and hospitalizations begin to decline. We describe the key variables that we suggest will affect public behaviour relevant to the spread of the virus, drawing upon four sources: (1) relevant evidence and recommendations from the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours produced for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE); (2) research evidence from non-pandemic conditions; (3) research on behaviour during the pandemic; and (4) relevant theory. We first outline some basic risks and a framework for understanding collective behaviour at live events. We then survey some trends in UK public behaviour observed over 2020 and how these might interact with the opening of live events and venues. We present a range of mitigation strategies, based on the framework for collective behaviour and on what is known about non-pharmaceutical (i.e. behavioural) interventions in relation to Covid-19.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105243
Number of pages8
JournalSafety Science
Early online date30 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work of Drury, Reicher, and Stott on this paper was supported by funding from UK Research and Innovation/Economic and Social Research Council (grant reference number ES/V005383/1). Rogers is affiliated to the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Emergency Preparedness and Response at King’s College London in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), in collaboration with the University of East Anglia. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health and Social Care or Public Health England.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)

Structured keywords

  • Physical and Mental Health
  • Covid19


  • live events
  • venues
  • behavioural science
  • Covid-19
  • psychology
  • guidance


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