As part of a series of trial events, Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome opened its doors to 1,300 party-goers on Saturday. The party was used as an experiment to measure any potential spread of coronavirus amongst attendees. 

Much like the previous experiments seen earlier this year, when between 500 and 1,500 people attended trial events such as business conferences, football matches and concerts, all attendees at the Ziggo Dome were tested for coronavirus before taking part in the experiment.

The attendees were also temperature checked at the door and are expected to get themselves tested five days after the party.

At the venue, each participant were given a tag that would monitor their movement.

The bubbles

The 1,300 attendees were then split into six different “bubbles.”The bubbles consisted of 5 groups of 250 people and one group of 50. As part of the experiment, each bubble had its own set of measures.

  • Bubble 1: People could stand where they liked. Everyone was asked to wear a mouth mask and ensure that there were no more than three people standing in one square meter. One in 10 people were rapid tested.
  • Bubble 2: People had to maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from other attendees and wear a mouth mask.
  • Bubble 3: Participants stood on predesignated spots and only had to wear a mouth mask when in motion.
  • Bubble 4: Attendees could sit wherever they liked but had to wear a mouth mask at all times. One in 10 were rapid tested.
  • Bubble 5: Standing and seating areas were available however, people were placed in specific areas by the organisation with seats being two chair-lengths apart. Attendees only had to wear mouth masks when moving.
  • Bubble 6: People could and stand or sit where they liked and didn’t have to wear a mask. One in 10 were rapid tested.

Could this be possible with a test certificate?

The Corona-Crisis Think Tank believes that large-scale events such as these may soon be possible if test certificates were brought in. At the request of the cabinet, the Think Tank investigated how events like this may be plausible again in the Netherlands.

They found that preliminary testing in the days before an event, along with a test certificate, could be the key to safely re-opening large-scale events.

According to Mariëtte Hamer, the chairman of the Social and Economic Council (SER) and initiator of the Think Tank Corona Crisis, “you can see that quick tests in terms of logistics are not very suitable for very large events such as in the Ziggo Dome but pre-testing works well. Anyone with a test certificate can then go through like this,” she tells Nieuwsuur.

Advice to the cabinet

The Corona Crisis Think Tank will offer four pieces of advice to the cabinet today:

  1. A traffic light model: The think tank will suggest that the government set up a traffic light model to indicate the safety risk of specific facilities and situations. This may help to determine whether or not people need to get tested before attending an event.
  2. A test certificate must be easily available: People should be able to receive their certificate easily and their data should not be put at risk.
  3. Testing should be free and easy: Likewise, people should have free and easy access to testing if they want to attend an event. Testing certificates should be available on paper.
  4. Clear communication: if an event is accessible with a test certificate this must be clearly communicated and take into account those who are not native Dutch speaker and the visually impaired.

Would you attend a large-scale event if it was possible with these measures? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below! 

Feature Image: Antoine Julien/Unsplash


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