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The Restart-19 project will see 4,000 volunteers attend different concert simulations in an attempt to identify how to host large-scale events without risk of infection
By IQ on 20 Jul 2020
German scientists are teaming up with singer Tim Bendzko to launch a series of concert simulations and investigate how to prevent Covid-19 from spreading at large events.
Restart-19, which has received €990,000 in funding from the federal states of Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony, where the country’s first standing post-Covid concerts were trialled last week, will see a series of event simulations take place at the 12,000-capacity Quarterback Immobilien Arena in Leipzig on 22 August.
The project is run by the University Medical Centre Halle (Saale) in conjunction with arena operator ZSL mbH and SC DHfK Leipzig handball team, with the aim of identifying a framework for how larger cultural and sports events could be held without posing a danger for the population after Germany’s ban on large-scale events expires.
Bendzko will perform at the arena to those who volunteer to take part in the simulations, in order to reproduce the behaviour of concertgoers as realistically as possible.
The simulations will replicate one event with 4,000 attendees, entering through two main entrances and sitting as prior to the pandemic; one with 4,000 participants with optimised hygiene measures, more entrances and larger distances between participants; and one with 2,000 attendees, who will be seated 1.5 metres apart.
German scientists are launching a series of concert simulations to investigate how to prevent Covid-19 from spreading at large events
All participants will by tested for Covid-19 before taking part and masks and hand sanitisers will be used during the simulations.
Participants will wear a small contact-tracing device during the concert simulations which will transmit a signal every five seconds to record proximity with other individuals, as well as the duration and frequency of contact with others.
The ‘concertgoers’ will also be asked to use a fluorescent hand sanitiser on entry, allowing scientists to use UV lights after the events to identify surfaces where transmission is most likely to occur.
Public transport to and from the venue will also be simulated and tracked as part of the research.
“The coronavirus pandemic is paralysing the events industry,” says Saxony-Anhalt minister of economics and science Prof. Dr. Armin Willingmann.
“As long as infection threatens, neither large concerts and trade fairs, or sporting events can take place. That is why it is so important to find out what technical or organisational framework conditions can effectively minimise the risk of infection.
“With Restart-19 the University Medical Centre Halle is pioneering work for a new start of the events industry in Central Germany and beyond.”
More information about the experiment and how to take part is available here.
This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.
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