5,000 attend concert in Barcelona after passing same day Covid test
A glimpse of the almost normal future
Indie rock band Love of Lesbian played to a packed out Palau Sant Jordi arena in Barcelona on Saturday night, as 5,000 fans attended the concert having returned a negative Covid test earlier in the day.
The event was staged as an experiment with permission from the country's health authorities, and was the biggest event held in Europe for over a year since the coronavirus pandemic halted the world in its tracks.
With everyone in the building testing negative for the virus, no social distancing was required at the concert, but fans wore masks in the crowd as a precaution.
— Catalunya Informació (@Catinformacio) March 27, 2021
The success of the experiment suggests this could be normal procedure for concerts and similar events for the foreseeable future. Pre-concert testing took place in three different locations throughout the day and was carried out by 80 nurses in full PPE.
Only three had tested positive by midday, and were subsequently not allowed to attend the concert but did get a refund for their ticket.
The rapid antigen tests used for the event returned results to people via an app on their phones within 10-15 minutes and was included in the price of the ticket, along with a face mask to wear during the gig.
EU's recovery fund is funding this three-year experiment in Spain in a bid to boost the country's economy.
Experts say this case study so far indicates that the measures implemented at the concert prevented outbreaks of the virus despite the lack of social distancing.
The band's publicist Salvador, 29, said: "It was spectacular. We felt safe at all times. We were in the front row and it was something we'd missed a lot.
"We are very proud to have had the chance to take part in this. We hope it'll be the first of many."