Much to the annoyance of sports fans and culture hounds, events with large audiences have been put on ice over the past few months thanks to the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic. But as social distancing and lockdown measures start to ease up around the world, what’s the risk of such events? A massive new experiment plans to employ the help of a German pop star and 4,000 fans to find out.
Scientists at the University Hospital Halle (Saale) in Germany, funded by the federal states of Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony, are hoping to get insights into how the coronavirus might spread at mass gatherings by closely observing three different scenarios at a concert by German singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko at Leipzig Arena on August 22.
The volunteers, healthy people aged 18 to 50, will be tested for Covid-19 48 hours before the concert and they will only be allowed to enter if they test negative. The researchers will give the concert-goers an FFP2 filter face mask and a fluorescent hand sanitiser that allows the scientists to track the surfaces most often touched by audience members.
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