Mathematicians from the University of Bath’s Institute for Mathematical Innovation (IMI) are using their modelling and statistical expertise to help festival and other events organisers deliver their events safely during the pandemic, offering a free virtual workshop on 13-15 July.

This three day event, organised by V-KEMS (the Virtual Forum for Knowledge Exchange in the Mathematical Sciences), will be an intensive session bringing mathematical scientists and other disciplines together to solve the challenges posed by holding large events.

The Virtual Study Group with the theme - COVID Safety in Large Events – is part of a series of events on COVID safety run in collaboration with the RAMP Continuity Network (a UKRI funded project).

The Virtual Study Group will cover the spectrum of large events from indoor to outdoor, ticketed to un-ticketed, dynamic to static.

Professor Chris Budd, from the University of Bath's Department of Mathematical Sciences and an organiser of the V-KEMS event said: “We are currently working with a number of stakeholders to identify appropriate problems and scenarios for this study group.

“Depending on the scenario, we may look at how partitioning attendees into bubbles might affect likely transmission rates, for example, how does partitioning by age affect the transmission? Are there other partitions which could be used?

“We can also look at how we can avoid risky queuing, and what physical interventions we could make such as improving ventilation, managing use of stairways and shared spaces to reduce the probability of infection.

“Finally we can look at the role and impact of testing - Can we model 100% testing with 20-minute result time and its impact on arena filling? What is the optimal number of tests to do? Can we envisage how "immunity passports" might help?

“These and many other questions can all be investigated using mathematics to model the relative risks to inform organisers how to deliver large events in the safest way possible.”

V-KEMS is looking to hear from hosts and organisers of large events as well as mathematicians and scientists interested in participating in this Study Group.

Event hosts and organisers interested in taking part should email dawn.wasley@icms.org.uk.

Problem solvers with the necessary skills and insight to work on the anticipated challenges should complete an expression of interest form: http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/VSG1Event/