Brit Awards 2021: Thousands of NHS workers dressed in blue hit the BRITs as thanks for Covid frontline

THOUSANDS of NHS workers dressed in blue have arrived at London's O2 Arena for tonight's BRIT Awards.

Around 2,500 hero frontline medical professionals won ballot tickets to the event as thanks for their work on the Covid frontline.

Dua Lipa and Coldplay are among the stars who will perform for them in the audience of 4,000 at this year's BRITs.

Although the event will be a quarter of its normal size, it will be the first indoor music event without face masks or social distancing this year.

The live ceremony is part of an ongoing series of pilots overseen by the Government’s Event Research program.

Audience members must show a negative lateral flow test and give contact details for Track and Trace.


Everyone who attends will also be tested five days later to gather “further evidence” on the event's safety.

Music bosses believe the large-scale indoor event will pave the way for the return of live gigs across the country.

It’s just one of a number of trial events happening in the period with the FA Cup Final set to hold 21,000 on May 15.

NHS nurse Natasha Callender, 38, told the Evening Standard she thought the Covid pandemic “would never end” after it hit her hospital last year.

Natasha, who will be in tonight's audience, said: "It feels like you are appreciated by being offered something amazing like this.

"Sometimes it feels like this will never end. But for one night, I cannot wait to go and do something different at the Brits."

Dua Lipa, who has been nominated for three awards, paid tribute to the NHS heroes, saying: "This has been a long tough year for everyone and I'm delighted the night will honour the key worker heroes who have cared for us so well during that time and continue to do so.

"They are quite simply an inspiration. The BRIT Awards are always special and this will truly make it a night to remember.”

Scientists will be on hand to observe the crowd flow and measure things like ventilation, air circulation and use of hand sanitisers.

This has been a long tough year for everyone and I'm delighted the night will honour the key worker heroes who have cared for us so well during that time and continue to do so

Coldplay will start tonight's show playing live from a pontoon on the Thames with Arlo Parks and Headie One performinginside the O2.

Other nominees include Young T & Bugsey, Celeste, and DJ and producer Joel Corry.

Jessie Ware, Bicep and AJ Tracey, J Hus and Headie One have all been nominated twice.

Earlier, Maya Jama, posed in a floral body con backstage before tonight's star-studded event.

The stunning presenter wore her hair up in tumbling waves as she prepared to settle in for a night of glitz and glamour.

Tonight's hotly-anticipated show comes after the Government trialled a similar scheme at the World Snooker Championships at the Sheffield Crucible and an outdoor gig at Sefton Park in Liverpool.

And the evidence from these pilots will feed into government policy for opening up venues across England.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This year’s awards will reunite live audiences with the best of British talent while providing a vital opportunity to see how we can get large crowds back safely as soon as possible.”

And 02 boss Danielle Kennedy-Clark called it “an important step on the path to recovery for the live entertainment industry.”

Brits chief Geoff Taylor added: “We hope it will provide a path for the return of live music.”

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