MUSIC fans in Germany have been urged to attend a concert that will help scientists track how Covid-19 spreads at indoor venues.
Mass gatherings are currently banned across the world due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
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Scientists are recruiting 4,000 pop music fans who will all receive tracking devices and bottles of fluorescent disinfectant.
This will help experts see how virus particles could be prevented from spreading at large gigs and concerts.
Singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko is set to perform at the Leipzig concert hall on August 22.
The announcement comes after artists all over the UK set up “Let The Music Play”.
Countries such as Germany and Australia have been given funding for live music, whereas guidelines in the UK are still not clear.
We are trying to find out if there could be a middle way between the old and the new normal
Funding for the arts has been given but the campaign has asked for a clear timeline when it comes to live music venues.
Participants taking part in the Restart-19 project in Germany will be between 18 and 50 and the trackers will be match-stick size devices around their necks.
These devices will transmit a signal at five-second intervals, while also collecting data on the person’s movements, as well as how close they get to other participants.
Whilst inside they will be asked to disinfect their hands with the fluorescent hand sanitiser.
After the concert scientists will be able to scour the venue with UV lights to see what surfaces germs have stuck to and where infection is most likely to take place.
One concern about large gatherings restarting is the spread via aerosols.
To mimic this a fog machine will be installed to help visualise the spread.
The attendees will have to play out three different scenarios.
In the first scenario they will attend concerts as they usually would.
Entering through two main entrances before being seated.
In the second scenario they will enter through eight entrances – this will stop people mingling. As well as this every second seat will be blocked off, to create distance between participants.
The third scenario is the strictest and would see just 2,000 spectators at the 12,000 capacity venue. They will all be seated 1.5 metres away from each other.
The Guardian reported that the cost of the project is €990,000 (£983,000) and will be shouldered between Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.
Organisers claim the aim is to identify how large events could be held after September 30 “without posing a danger to the population”.
At present in Germany some states have relaxed measures which means medium-sized indoor events can take place.
Stefan Moritz, the head of clinical infectious diseases at the University hospital in Halle and the experiment’s coordinator said: “We are trying to find out if there could be a middle way between the old and the new normal that would allow organisers to fit enough people into a concert venue to not make a loss.”
Safety precautions will be in place during the event and volunteers will be sent test kits and will also have swabs at a lab 48 hours before.
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If they do not present a negative test then they will be denied entry.
Participants will also be given masks with an exhalation valve.
While the organisers say that 100 per cent protection from the virus cannot be guaranteed they claim the likelihood of catching Covid at the trial is “extremely slim”.
The scientists are hoping to reveal their findings in October.
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