The nightlife clinical trial conducted on 20 May in five bars on the Carrer Primer de Maig in Sitges resulted in no Covid-19 infections. None of the 391 participants tested positive for Coronavirus in the days following the trial, according to a study conducted by a specialist company, proposed by the organisers.
Participants in the test filled the five bars that participated in the initiative (Pachito, Everlasting Love, Las Vegas, Rich Monkey and Blitz), without social distancing or capacity limits, although with face masks, officially removed only for drinking.
Participants took an antigen test the same afternoon of the event, and 88% were re-tested five days later. No-one had contracted the virus in that time frame. The remaining 12% did not go to the points installed by the Town Council to carry out the subsequent control, but representatives from Catalonia’s health department are satisfied that the results give full validity to the trial.
The results of the study have been welcomed by the nightlife industry. The head of the ‘Association of Bars on Carrer del Pecat’, Damià Orts, demanded ‘braver measures’ by the Catalan government to facilitate a total re-opening of nightlife establishments.
From Monday 21 June, nightclubs and music bars in Catalonia can open until until 3.30am again, but still with some restrictions. There remains a capacity limit of 50% for indoor areas, and safety distances must be maintained between different groups of people. There are no capacity limits set for outdoor spaces.
The results of the trial have also been viewed positively by the two institutions that took part in the initiative: the local councillor for health, Elisabet Pérez, referred to the nightlife sector as being ‘part of the identity of Sitges and that generates employment in the town’, underlining the positive response and results of the initiative.
Meanwhile, the deputy director general of drug addictions at the Catalan health department, Joan Colom, said that ‘everyone is interested in gradually returning to normal: this also involves taking steps in this direction, but still being aware of the epidemiological complexity that we still face’. He also said the results were ‘very positive’ and reinforced the Catalan government’s decision to re-open the sector. He also emphasised that the testing was done with total scientific rigour and with ‘impeccable’ organisation.
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