Key workers arriving at the O2 Arena for the Brit Awards have told of their excitement to be in the audience ahead of the ceremony.
Organisers have given 2,500 of the 4,000 tickets for this year’s ceremony in London to people working on the front line of the pandemic from the Greater London area.
Audience members attending the indoor ceremony will not be socially distanced or required to wear face coverings once seated, as the show is part of the Government’s live events pilot scheme.
Speaking at the O2 Arena, Zunaira Faiz, an administrator in the medical records department of the Royal Free hospital trust said people need to be “connected again” after so long apart in lockdown.
The 23-year-old took her fashion photographer friend Mimuna Hussin, 19, as a guest.
Ms Faiz said: “I’m not nervous at all because they’ve made it very safe.
“I understand it’s not going to be socially distanced but I feel like we need to be connected again after so long so I’m fine, I’m excited.
“My hopes are that everybody is in good health and we can do more events after this.”
Ms Hussin added: “I’m so excited, I haven’t been to a concert in so long, and seeing people together is going to be so weird but it just makes me realise you just take every little thing for granted.
“So I’m just really excited.”
Metropolitan Police custody nurse Brian George, 56, took his 18-year-old daughter Amie to the Brits after successfully getting tickets through the key worker ballot.
Mr George, originally from Dublin but living in Orpington in Kent, said there was a “buzz” around the arena as people arrived.
He said: “It’s the first event we’ve been to since the pandemic, there’s a great buzz.”
Laughing, he added: “I was supposed to be working today so I had to get the day off.
“I wasn’t expecting to get a ticket.”
He is hopeful the pilot event will help pave the way for more reopenings, adding: “I’m hoping that with a few more events like this it’ll be like, by the autumn, let’s open up everything again.
“That would be fantastic.”
Cherie-Ann Lumsden and her mother Jackie were nominated for tickets to the Brits by their bosses.
Trainee nurse associate Cherie-Ann said the pair had taken the day off work and “spent all day getting ready”.
They said it is the first chance they have had to dress up “in a very long while”.
The 20-year-old has been administering coronavirus vaccines in recent months while her mother managed the process within the GP practice at St John’s medical centre in Lewisham.
Practice manager Jackie, 56, said: “Cherie-Ann came on board pretty much right at the start of it, got trained up and everything, then she started jabbing all the way through.
“And I managed the process in the practice.
“We’ve done 15,000 vaccines so far.”