After high-testing COVID-19 vaccine candidates sent a wave of optimism through the live music world, organizers now have further cause for celebration. Event management and logistics company Swallow Events has introduced services that enable rapid testing at scale for U.K. gatherings of all types.
Swallow Events now offers Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport-compliant consultancy that includes facilities with pop-up testing conducted by official healthcare professionals. The company says the tests themselves are 99.68% accurate, take only 15 minutes, and are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
Testing kits alone are also offered by Swallow Events. In their current pricing structure 100-1,000 kits cost £13 apiece, and the price lowers at each multiple of 10 units up to 1 million or more at £8.80 apiece.
Not a Moment Too Soon
The advent of rapid testing at mass comes at a time when restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 have grown especially contentious in the U.K. After the current emergency lockdown, the government plans to reimpose a three-tiered system including curfews that have been legally contested by the ownership of G-A-Y Manchester, among others.
What aid lawmakers have allocated for nightlife organizations has been criticized as insufficient as well. Arts Council England‘s £500 million Culture Recovery Fund criteria has denied grants to Printworks, The Drumshed, Egg London, Studio 338, Oval Space, Exhibition London and The Pickle Factory. In a recent statement, the Night Time Industries Association warned that many clubs face “extinction” in the absence of additional aid.
“The events industry has been forgotten and devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Swallow Events Founder Oli Thomas. “Although a common misconception, events have actually been allowed to take place in the U.K. in 2020. The guidelines regarding them, however, are unclear, with the ultimate decision often based on a single person’s opinion at local authority level.
“There are instances of events receiving approval and licenses granted, only for them then to be revoked at the last minute, which only serves to further fuel financial problems and job losses to the industry. With this in mind we are very proud to announce we are the first events company in the U.K. to offer an onsite rapid testing service for COVID-19 in as little as 15 minutes, which, we believe, is a complete game changer.”
It remains to be seen how soon rapid testing will be available to event organizers outside of the U.K. More information on the rapid-testing services provided by Swallow Events is available on their website.
Image credit: Sarthak Navjivan