With the uncertainty surrounding Coronavirus and the effect of gatherings of people on its spread, we’ve begun to look at the options currently facing ALSO20, pretentiously named "Operation Kingfisher".
We’ve considered the following options: Cautiously continuing to deliver ALSO20 as planned; potentially capping attendance numbers; postponement until later in the year or, as a very last resort, cancellation.
As ALSO is an outdoor event, with no large enclosed venues, and fewer than 1500 people across the weekend (even including our many choirs), we’ve decided to continue as planned for now, with the possibility of capping attendance or postponement if the situation changes.
You might want to know what has led us to our cautiously continuing position - we do have access to the UK’s finest academics, authors and experts - but this one is unknowable. We have worked on the following assumptions (although, of course, these are subject to change):
1. The preferred course of action is a controlled, even spread of the virus throughout the UK population before autumn, limiting exposure to those with pre-existing conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to the disease.
2. Based on current government understanding, peak infection is predicted to be between 10 and 14 weeks from today, between 23rd May and 20th June.
3. Between now and then, avoiding large gatherings of people will help control the spread of the disease.
4. After the peak, there will be little point in restricting such events.
We’ll be reviewing the situation regularly over the coming weeks and will keep all involved updated.