Indoor Spanish Concert Study Shows No Sign of Covid-19 Spread

A Spanish music concert studying the impact of Covid-19 safety measures on transmission showed strong evidence that testing, masks and ventilation can prevent the spread of the virus indoors.

None of the 465 attendees tested positive via a PCR test for the virus eight days after the restricted event, compared with two people in the control group that didn’t attend, said the study, led by researchers at the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital in Barcelona and published on Thursday.

All attendees tested negative in lateral flow tests before entry and wore masks in a well-ventilated venue in Barcelona in December. The event lasted five hours, with attendees spending an average of two hours and 40 minutes inside the venue. Participants observed physical distancing and the venue was at around half capacity.

Still, studies like these, also conducted in Liverpool in the U.K., “may lead to a sense of false security,” said Dr. Julian Tang, a clinical virologist at the University of Leicester, in an emailed statement. Covid cases in Spain were low at the time of the event and more transmissible variants have emerged since then.

The study triggers further questions around the use of rapid antigen testing and the design of studies for international events like the Olympics, said Rosanna Peeling, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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