Today is Freedom Day in England, and the government has kept its word: All Covid-related restrictions have been officially lifted. Yet, as the delta variant of the disease has sparked a surge in new cases, there's still reason for event organizers, venues and individuals to be cautious.
This was one topic discussed today in Northstar Meetings Group's biweekly global content team meeting, now a video series. This week, Loren Edelstein, vice president and content director, leads the conversation with James Lancaster, editorial director, Northstar Meetings Group U.K.; and Elizabeth West, editorial director for The BTN Group.
Here's what we talked about:
1:25 An enthusiastic crowd attended Destination International's Annual Conference in Baltimore last week.
2:05 A clear problem: Meetings are coming back…but hotel and venue staff are not.
5:00 Today is Freedom Day in England, and all Covid restrictions have been lifted.
6:40 Meanwhile, the U.K. has seen a huge spike in the Delta variant. Some fear infections could reach 100,000 per day by late August.
9:35 The vaccines are doing a good job, but a high percentage of the population has not been vaccinated.
11:00 In the U.S., Covid cases have increased 140 percent over the past two weeks, according to the New York Times.
12:00 The events industry needs to exercise caution and protect the gains that we've made.
13:20 The Scottish government has asked for another £40 million to help restart the hospitality and events sector.
14:05 Mobile World Congress was held in Barcelona a few weeks ago, with about 20,000 attendees — a positive sign for international meetings going forward.