It is being led in partnership between Marketing Liverpool, the city region’s destination marketing organisation, Liverpool BID Company and Liverpool ONE.
Smart testing will pick up from the successful mass testing pilot that helped Liverpool City Region to secure Tier 2 status. One of the key objectives now is for the city to stay in that Tier, or even move down into Tier 1.
Supporting the message ‘Get tested before…’ the smart release initiative will encourage people to go for a test before they come into the city and the incentive programme would see businesses put forward an offer or discount such as ‘10% off a coffee’ or ‘kids eat free’ if customers can show a negative Covid-19 Lateral Flow test and ID.
A negative test result would be valid for 24 hours and customers would need to show the results text or email in order to claim the discounts. Venues and customers would still need to follow the Hands, Face, Space guidelines such as social distancing measures, face masks and regular hand washing.
Chris Brown, Director of Marketing Liverpool said: “The mass testing pilot ran for almost a month and during that time we’ve seen people who live, work and study in Liverpool get regular tests in order for us to keep the virus at bay.
“Regular testing is crucial if we want to keep Liverpool in Tier 2 in the run up to Christmas and for businesses across the city to re-open with confidence. An incentive scheme such as this benefits everyone, it allows those with a negative Lateral Flow test result to safely enjoy our shops, restaurants and visitor attractions during December whilst bringing much-needed footfall back into our venues.”
Bill Addy, Chief Executive of Liverpool BID Company explained more about the scheme: “The incentive scheme would hopefully prompt more people to get a quick-result test with the promise that they can make use of some of the great offers across the city if they receive a negative result.
“We’re asking businesses big and small covering everything from cafes and restaurants to shops, salons and museums to come forward and offer whatever they can. We know how hard it is for businesses across the city so we’re not asking for massive discounts, just a small incentive which will hopefully get more people back enjoying the city’s venues in the safest possible way.”
Donna Howitt, Marketing and Communications Director at Liverpool ONE spoke of the importance the scheme could have in the run up to Christmas.
Donna explained: “The weeks before Christmas are normally our busiest time with shoppers out buying gifts and lots of festive activity going on across the estate.
“This year is very different, however we still hope to welcome people back safely. For our shops and restaurants this year has been incredibly difficult and we hope that by offering people an incentive to both get tested and to pay us a visit, we can end the year with a positive outlook for 2021.”
Paul Askew, joint chair of the Liverpool Hospitality Association explained the difference the idea of ‘test before you go’ could have to the city’s hospitality industry.
Paul said: “We all know how hard the hospitality industry has been impacted by the pandemic so anything we can do to help us get back on our feet should be applauded.
“The idea of people getting a test before they visit a restaurant and then receiving some special added value upon showing a negative result is the perfect way to give people the confidence they need to return to our restaurants, knowing that they are as safe as possible.”