The Meetings Industry Association (mia) says it welcomes the news that the business meetings and events sector could potentially fully reopen from 19 July.
Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the mia, said: “While it is hugely positive news, we do have concerns that the announcement has pre-empted any government guidance that we understand is due to be issued as a result of the Phase 1 pilots.
“Without the guidance, the announcement appears to be reactionary rather than an informed government and science-backed decision around the safety of events. Business meetings and events are safe – something the mia has maintained from the outset of the pandemic.
“We understand that any forthcoming government guidance from the Pilot events won’t be mandatory, but we do know that the sector will be keen to implement everything it possibly can to ensure the safety of customers and employees.
“We have already made significant progress enhancing hygiene and infection control measures to ensure business meetings and events venues can clearly demonstrate their protocols to risk-averse bookers with the introduction of AIM Secure, and will continue to champion best practice among the sector. What we need to re-assure bookers is clear messaging from Cabinet that it really is safe to meet.
“Elsewhere, it is essential that our ongoing dialogue with government that has made huge strides in the last sixteen months, is maintained not only to rebuild the sector, which has been hugely affected by the pandemic, but to demonstrate how business meetings can aid the UK’s economic recovery. Tools such as our recently relaunched miaTouchstone business intelligence tool will play an essential role in this as well as helping to shape industry-level strategies for the future prosperity of the sector.”