As the world tries to go back to some form of normalcy back to the pre-COVID days, world governments are trialing different tactics. The latest one took place in Liverpool, England, where around 5,000 music lovers gathered in close proximity at a one-off music festival, reported the BBC.
The whole point was to test out the effects of having such a large number of people together without any social distancing, mask-wearing, or rule of six — just like the good old days.
The festival was part of the initial phase of a pilot project that's being carried out by the British Events Research Programme. It's all part of the U.K. government's plan to ensure a safe return to normalcy as it carries on with its reopening roadmap.
The pilot festival didn't see attendees joining willy-nilly, throwing all caution to the wind. Each person had to have a negative COVID-19 test before entering the festival's gates and was encouraged to take another one five days after. The Events Research Programme aims to then use this data to better understand how the virus spreads in different kinds of events: indoor, outdoor, seated, standing, etc.
It sounds like it was a win/win situation, where music-lovers and party-goers could indulge in a massive concert, and science could improve.
Other countries and concerts
The U.K. isn't the only country trying to get its events back off the ground in as safe a manner as possible.
The COVID-19 success story, New Zealand, which has only recorded around 2,600 coronavirus cases, and 26 deaths since the pandemic started, hosted a 50,000 people-strong concert in Auckland on April 24, reported LiveMint.
No one had to wear any face masks or keep at a safe distance from other concert-goers, they just had to sit back and enjoy the music blasting from the booming speakers. This marked the largest concert attendance in the country since the pandemic began.
On the other side of the planet in Israel, residents who'd been inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine were able to attend an open-air concert in Tel Aviv as early as February, proven they showed their Green Pass vaccine passport with their jab details, as Reuters reported.
Other cities like New York City have rolled out COVID-19 vaccine passports with the hope of getting events back up and running, boosting the economy, and not to mention people's mental health. Not everyone is ready to accept a vaccine passport into their lives, so other measures need to be discovered, and perhaps such a pilot project as the recent one in the U.K. may open these doors for everyone.