Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena has staged its first live events since March and is set to welcome a total of 16,000 guests throughout December.

Liverpool is currently in Tier 2 of England’s COVID-19 lockdown system, meaning that up to 1,000 people are allowed at indoor events. With a capacity of 11,000, M&S Bank Arena is able to host socially distanced events, the first of which was a Hot Water Comedy Club show on December 12.

The arena has also hosted the Classic Rock Show Christmas Party and two shows by the Rumours of Fleetwood Mac tribute band, while a Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime is running from December 18-27.

M&S Bank Arena is believed to be the only major UK arena hosting socially distanced events this month. The run of events will culminate with another Hot Water Comedy Club show on New Year’s Eve.

M&S Bank Arena has introduced a number of COVID-secure measures in line with the government-approved ‘All Secure Standard’ and as part of a series of accreditations received by the venue including VisitEngland’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard for tourism and hospitality.

Measures introduced include designated entrances, track and trace QR codes and socially distanced queueing, bathrooms and seating. One-way systems, hand sanitisers and anti-viral electrostatic spraying machines have also been introduced, while guests have been asked to wear face coverings on arrival and at all times throughout the venue.

Kerry Mulloy, director of events and operations at The ACC Liverpool Group, said: “It has been fantastic to finally be able to open our doors this month and welcome our customers back.

“We appreciate there are still very tough restrictions in place across the country and our thoughts go to those living in these areas. As Liverpool has been placed in Tier 2, the government regulations allow us to host socially distanced events for up to 1,000 people.

“Over the weekend we welcomed 4,000 visitors and everything has run smoothly. We have put a range of COVID-secure measures in place to ensure the safety of our guests and we are pleased that our customers have recognised the importance of working with us to ensure we are compliant. The atmosphere has been extremely positive and visitors are really pleased and grateful to be able to enjoy live entertainment for the first time since March.”

The arena is set to host more socially distanced events in January and February.

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