Rock on: no rise in infections after concert for 5,000 in Barcelona

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BARCELONA (Reuters) – A trial concert in Barcelona where 5,000 people took rapid COVID-19 tests and crammed into a venue without social distancing did not drive up infections, organisers said on Tuesday, giving hope to the moribund live-music sector.

Two weeks after the show by Catalan indie band Love of Lesbian, just six cases of coronavirus were detected among attendees, medical supervisor Dr Josep Maria Llibre told a news conference.

That is equivalent to around half the infection rate among Barcelona’s general population as measured over the past two weeks, said Llibre, an internal medicine specialist at the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital.

“This has not been a super-spreading event,” he said, and there were no signs that the six infections had occurred at the venue.

“These are very reassuring data and we believe that can be helpful in opening cultural activities everywhere in the world,” Llibre said.

On the day of the show, concert-goers had to take a test at one of three locations in the city and demonstrate a negative result before being allowed into the Palau Sant Jordi arena.

Attendees received their results in 10 to 15 minutes via an app on their phones. The test and a mask were included in the ticket price.

After the concert doctors called up attendees to ask if they had symptoms or had tested positive. They also cross-referenced attendees’ data with health department data, in accordance with disclaimers signed before the concert.

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