Could this be the way forward for events?
Last month we wrote about an experimental festival in Amsterdam, at which was attended by 1,300 people. Now, we’d expect that kind of gathering to be broken up by police under normal Covid-19 rules, but this was just one of many experimental events commissioned by the government through Fieldlab Events. [Photo:@ziggodome/Facebook]
The aim of these events, which also included football matches and concerts, was to assess the safety of gathering so many people together for an event. Attendees were first tested for Covid-19 and has to present a negative test result on their phones in order to gain access to the event. Then they were asked to wear face masks at all times and drinks were coloured with a dye to help analysts understand how micro-organisms like viruses would travel through a crowd.
It seems that a lot of information has been gleaned from these intriguing experiments, and Fieldlab has drawn up some initial conclusions, which the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) will now have to assess. Fieldlab has concluded that indoor events where the audience is screened and tested for Covid-19, and at which the crowd stays in a fixed location can take place safely.
They found that the risk of infection at their events was similar to the risk of infection at home. Testing is said to have played a significant role in reducing keeping infections down at these events, alongside other practical solutions such as adequate ventilation. However, it is noted that events should only run at 50% capacity if the government agree with the rest of the findings and does allow large events like these to run anytime soon.
So, we will have to wait and see how this all plays out. Fieldlab is supported by the government, but it is run by various teams within the private events sector, such as TU Delft and TNO, and the government and OMT may not agree with the findings.