Is a venue, be it indoor / outdoor, a safe space in a pandemic?

Published on November 03, 2020

The results of several experiments have been published, at European level, on the safety of spectators at cultural events held during the Covid-19 pandemic, respecting the safety conditions imposed by the authorities of each state.

Restart-19, a scientific experiment aimed at showing how coronavirus circulates at indoor events, took place at a concert at the Quarterback Immobilien Arena in Leipzig, Germany, on August 22, with singer Tim Bendzko. The overview of the results of the experiment shows that the total number of contacts, which lasts a few minutes, is relatively low during the event and can be considerably reduced by hygiene rules and that a greater number of contacts takes place during admission to the venue, in breaks. Also, poor ventilation of the location can increase the risk of spreading the virus.


El Pais has published an experiment that includes 4 scenarios of the spread of the Covid-19 virus in different contexts, which starts from the hypothesis that the virus spreads through the air, especially in indoor spaces. Scenario 2 takes place in a bar, where capacity has been reduced to 50%. There are 15 clients and three staff members, and in the context of closed windows without mechanical ventilation - 14 of the clients will be infected after four hours. In contrast, if the masks are used constantly, the risk of infection decreases to eight new cases. If the spaces are ventilated, which can be done with a good air conditioning unit and the time spent in the bar is shortened, there is a risk that only one person will be infected.


Another Italian study, published in October, also shows that live performances can be a "safe place" if safety measures are followed. Out of 347,262 spectators who participated in 2,782 performances monitored by opera, prose, dance and concerts, with an average of 130 participants for each event, between June 15 and the beginning of October, there is only one case of infection with Covid 19. This is what emerges from a survey prepared by AGIS - the Italian General Entertainment Association and which covers the entire territory of Italy.


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