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FieldLab finds outdoor events safe at 50-75% capacity

Outdoor events should be allowed to go ahead at 50 to 75-per-cent of capacity without social distancing, according to new findings from FieldLab Events, an initiative set up by the Dutch government and the entertainment industry.

The organisation, which has already organised several test events in the Netherlands, has made recommendations to the Dutch government based on the results of its first outdoor tests. FieldLab organised two pilot football matches with 1,500 spectators each and one with 5,000 spectators.

The conclusion is that outdoor events, such as football matches, can go ahead safely if a number of conditions are met, including rapid tests for attendees that takes place up to 24 hours before the event, as well as mandatory masks.

Fieldlab also said in a statement that using “an app or other kind of access control with a negative coronavirus test,” is also necessary. Fans should also take a rapid test up to 24 hours from the end of the event.

Researchers have suggested that if a capacity of 50 per cent is maintained, the masks should only be worn when people are on the move, while with a capacity of 75-per-cent they recommend requesting a mask even when seated.

If these guidelines can be adhered to, the group has suggested that a 1.5-metre distancing rule can be waived up to three-quarters of maximum spectator capacity.

In addition, the capacity of business seats in stadiums should also remain at 50 to 75-per-cent capacity, just like regular grandstand sections, while the indoor area (business club) should stick to an occupancy of 20-per-cent.

The FieldLab pilot programme has been supported by the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Climate; Justice and Security; Education, Culture and Science; and Health, Welfare and Sport.

Earlier this month, FieldLab concluded that indoor seated events are safe following results from the first two Back to Live pilots. The Dutch organisation said that events could take place safely at half capacity without social distancing in place.

As with the outdoor events, visitors must be tested beforehand and wear a mask, while it also stressed that venues must have good ventilation.

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