If the lockdown roadmap stays on track, large events are expected to go ahead in England from 21st June onwards. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all expected to follow a similar timescale.
As life starts to return to normal, experts have warned MPs about the strength of the drugs that may be circulated later this year, as well as the lack of testing to identify bad batches.
Professor Fiona Measham runs The Loop, a charity that tests drugs at nightclubs and festivals and lets people know exactly what’s in them. She was among a panel of experts who voiced their concerns to MPs last month.
She told Radio 1 Newsbeat: “We usually put out alerts on social media throughout the summer about drugs we’ve tested we think are particularly dangerous. But while typically we start testing in May or June, this year we probably won’t start knowing what’s in circulation until maybe July or August.”
She also suggested that “messages of moderation won’t land very well” as lockdown is lifted.
Following this warning, the government has raised grave concerns over the risks of drug use at the UK’s many music festivals.
After the hearing, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, MP Julian Knight said: “The uncertainty surrounding if and when festivals will take place, a huge pent-up demand from the public combined with a heavy supply of high-risk drugs, risks spelling disaster this summer.”
Kira Weir, from Scottish drug charity Crew, has cautioned that people’s mindset and environment when taking drugs can also lead to dangerous consequences:
“If you’re feeling anxious about being in a large crowd again, or an unfamiliar setting, that can cause increased risk from the drugs you’re taking. It can cause people, out of a need to reduce feelings of anxiety, to take more of whatever they’ve taken and put themselves at greater risk.”
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