A Dutch study of 24 events that brought together more than 60,000 people indicates that it will be possible this summer, by respecting certain measures, to organize shows and other gatherings without social distancing despite the epidemic.
“I believe that with our findings that we are now presenting to the government, many festivals can be preserved, even at their maximum capacity,” Peter Lopertz, Director of the Fieldlab Program, which was established by the Events Sector in cooperation with the government.
After several restrictions and more than a year without a major event, Dutch event organizations and scholars have organized and analyzed several experimental gatherings, including the Eurovision Song Contest and several football matches, between February and May 2021.
The authors of the Fieldlab experiment defined, from the data collected, a risk matrix according to event type and severity of health condition. For each ‘level of risk’, sanitary measures are recommended.
They claim that some precautions such as presenting a negative PCR test and adequate communication will be sufficient, should the health situation continue to improve.
“We looked at alternative measures that we could come up with to eliminate social distancing while keeping juveniles safe,” says Lopertz.
The study’s conclusions do not include the number of pollutants associated with each organized event, but its organizers say they studied the behavior and the number of connections between participants.
Eurovision was part of the experience. 3,500 pre-test spectators were allowed to attend the semi-finals, finals and six rehearsals in Rotterdam. This represents 20% of the exhibition hall capacity.
The 2020 edition of the contest, which is watched by millions of viewers around the world every year, has been canceled for the first time in the competition’s history due to the pandemic. 65,000 spectators are expected to attend all the concerts.