For several weeks, the British government has launched a program of experiments with thousands of people on live events to understand if and how it would be possible to safely reopen them after more than a year of pandemics. The United Kingdom – which is well ahead with the vaccination plan, with more than half the population receiving at least one dose, and with interest on reopening by many European governments – is being watched – such experiments It is not the first country to do, but its program is the largest and most structured to date and includes sports programs, concerts, disco programs and congresses.
In the government’s plans, the most optimistic forecast associated with the pace of vaccination envisaged that events such as concerts or disco nights were to resume from June 21: these are indeed occasions when the risk of contagion is high, Together many people crowd together and often indoors.
Last weekend was the first test performed at disco events and concerts: the biggest novelty was the total absence of masks compared to experiments such as the 5,000-person concert held in Barcelona on 27 March. The first event – the first in the United Kingdom, at least among those legally permitted, as the club and disco were closed – was held at a department store in Liverpool on Friday 30 April and was attended by around 3 thousand people Was.
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The participants had to swap one of the four centers made available in the city the day before and then upload the result to a site, so that it could be linked to the purchased ticket. Once they present their ticket and negative swab at the entrance, they can enter and act as if there were no coronovirus restrictions. One purpose of the experiment was also to understand whether people were ready to participate in the process; Inside the warehouse, instead, sensors were used to calculate the level of ventilation.
On Saturday the event was repeated with the same formula, while on Sunday, also in Liverpool, there was a small celebration at Sefton Park, attended by around 5,000 people inside a circus tent of sorts. . A large conference was organized in Liverpool in a similar manner on 28 April: all these events were part of the government’s program.
Liverpool is a particularly suitable place for these experiments, as in recent times it has recorded very few coronavirus infections in the entire week before Friday’s event. According to Iyen Buchan, a scientist at the University of Liverpool who is leading the experiments, the probability of meeting a coronovirus-positive person at that department store used as a nightclub was one in 5,000.
The government’s program was launched to try to honor the date of 21 June indicated by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the beginning of the former prime minister’s epidemic “normalcy”. Some clubs have already held major events for the days following that date: Fabric in London, a well-known nightclub with a capacity of 1,500 people, said that it has started a 42-hour festival starting on 25 June. All the tickets were sold.
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