Listen to the science: it was mad to go ahead with major sporting events | Barry Glendenning

New report suggests Cheltenham Festival and Liverpool match ‘increased several-fold’ the number of Covid-19 cases

Now we know. The much-maligned decisions to go ahead with the Cheltenham Festival and Liverpool’s Champions League match against Atlético Madrid in March “caused increased suffering and death”, according to the scientist leading the UK’s largest Covid-19 tracking project. Well, colour all those who foresaw that particular revelation coming down the pipe surprised.

In much the same way that you don’t need to be an optician to appreciate that loading the family into the car for a 60-mile pre-journey journey is not the best way to test your eyesight, an intimate working knowledge of Bunsen burners, pipettes and Erlenmeyer flasks was never going to be a prerequisite for forecasting that hundreds of thousands of sports fans rubbing shoulders in close proximity during a pandemic would result in unnecessary illness and fatalities.

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