UK insurance scheme for live events partially welcomed

LONDON (AP) – Organizers of live events in the UK, such as festivals and theaters, gave partial support on Friday for a new coronavirus insurance initiative aimed at allaying their financial worries.

LONDON (AP) – Organizers of live events in the UK, such as festivals and theaters, gave partial support on Friday for a new coronavirus insurance initiative aimed at allaying their financial worries.

In a statement Thursday evening, the government said it was backing a £ 750million ($ 1 billion) insurance plan that would cover cancellation costs incurred by the hard-hit live events industry in the event of a new blockages during the year from September.

The government is partnering with Lloyd’s, the London-based insurance marketplace, to deliver the Live Events Reinsurance Program, which will see it step in with a guarantee to ensure that insurers can offer the products that companies events need.

“Our event industries are not only vital for the economy and jobs; they are putting Britain on the map and, with this extra support, will bring people back to the experiences that make life worth living, ”Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said.

Industry executives said the initiative will help theaters and festivals plan events with more confidence, but said it did not go far enough. They noted that the regime would only apply during shutdowns, meaning that costs of reintroducing other restrictions that could threaten the financial viability of their events would not be covered.

“The program does not, however, cover a festival that has to reduce capacity or cancel due to the reintroduction of social distancing restrictions,” said Paul Reed, CEO of the Association of Independent Festivals.

The recent lifting of coronavirus restrictions across the UK in recent months has raised hopes that the industry will be able to get back on a more secure footing, but the spread of the more contagious delta variant has fueled fears that the curbs must return during the winter.

According to the Treasury, the live events business is worth more than 70 billion pounds ($ 97.39 billion) a year and supports more than 700,000 jobs.

The sector has suffered tremendously since lockdown restrictions were first introduced in the country in March 2020 and the lack of a government-backed insurance scheme has kept many from moving their plans forward this year.

“While it’s a shame that it is too late for some this summer, this program will give the industry the confidence to plan and invest in future events,” said Phil Bowdery, President of the Concert Promoters Association.

Tristan Werkmeister, The Associated Press


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