Good ventilation technology, food consumption in the seating areas, multiple entrances
The events industry and the cultural and sports sectors have been waiting in anticipation for the announcement of the results of the RESTART-19 research project of University Medicine Halle (Saale). One portion of the project was a concert in the Quarterback Immobilien Arena Leipzig with singer Tim Bendzko on August 22, 2020. During the concert, each participant received a contact tracer, a small device which collected the scientific data. The data was evaluated, modelled, calculated and verified over a period of several weeks. Airflow simulations were also carried out. Almost exactly two months later, on October 29, 2020, the findings and corresponding science-based recommendations are ready to be presented. The results will also be published in the coming days.
Based on their findings, the researchers have derived the following recommendations:
– Event venues require ventilation technology that provides adequate ventilation and a regular exchange of air. It makes sense to create an evaluation system for suitable ventilation technology.
– Hygiene concepts must continue to be in place for as long as the pandemic persists: compulsory use of face masks in the arena, hygiene stewards to ensure compliance with the hygiene standards.
– The seating plan and thus the number of guests should be adjusted based on incidence.
– The venue should be accessed through several entrances to direct visitor flows. Waiting areas should be moved outdoors.
– During the event, food should be eaten in the seating areas to prevent crowding and long periods of contact at snack bars.
“The concept of the project was compelling, and we would like to thank all of the participants who took part. They generated the data which we can use to make science-based political decisions. They generated the data that will also benefit others all over Germany and even around the world who would like to resume going to indoor concerts or sporting matches. We are glad that the State of Saxony-Anhalt and the State of Saxony, made this project possible with their financial support,” says Prof. Dr. Michael Gekle, dean of the Faculty of Medicine in Halle.
According to the Minister of Science, Professor Armin Willingmann: “The corona pandemic is currently intensifying throughout Germany. This reality makes what we learn from ‘RESTART-19’ all the more valuable. The events industry, in particular, must be equipped with the knowledge and strategies it needs to be able to responsibly organize concerts, festivals and trade fairs despite Corona. The researchers at University Medicine Halle have done real pioneering work here on behalf of the states of Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony – even though the road to a new normal is very long.”
“From our point of view, the experiment was an absolute success, even though we did not reach the number of participants we had originally planned for. It was fun and was not only a scientific but, indeed, a cultural experience as well. We thank singer Tim Bendsko who, together with his band, made this simulation a live-concert experience,” says Dr. Stefan Moritz in conclusion.