1,300 punters return to dancefloor for Dutch COVID-19 study

Punters were split into groupings with varying restrictions, such as wearing masks

More than 1,000 clubbers in the Netherlands briefly returned to the dancefloor to take part in a study that explored the risks of reopening clubs during the pandemic.

As reported by The Guardian, 1,300 music fans visited Amsterdam’s largest venue, the Ziggo Dome, over the weekend for four hours, dancing to DJ sets from Sam Feldt, Lady Bee and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano.

Participants were separated into five ‘bubbles’ of 250 and one bubble of 50, with each grouping subject to varying restrictions. For instance, one group of punters were required to wear masks the entire time with a density limit of three people per square metre, while another group wore no masks and were allowed to sit or stand wherever they chose.

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Additionally, one group of participants were given fluorescent drinks and encouraged to sing and scream as loudly as possible to examine much saliva was released.

Punters were required to take a COVID-19 test 48 hours prior to the event and all their movements and contacts were traced on the night. Attendees also had to take another COVID-19 test five days afterwards.

The study was coordinated by Fieldlab for the Netherlands Government, which hopes to use the findings to inform how to ease nightlife restrictions in the coming months.

“We hope this can lead to a tailor-made reopening of venues. Measures are now generic, allowing for instance a maximum of 100 guests at any event if coronavirus infections drop to a certain level, Fieldlab’s Tim Boersma told The Guardian.

“We hope for more specific measures, such as allowing the Ziggo Dome to open at half its capacity.”

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The Netherlands is currently in lockdown in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This includes restrictions on private and outdoor gatherings, as well as a curfew between 9pm and 4.30am local time.

More than 1.5million vaccine doses have been administered in the Netherlands so far.

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