Danish study could test risk of Covid-19 infection with 30,000 football fans

Danish study could test risk of Covid-19 infection with 30,000 football fans
Fans at a Danish football stadium in December 2020. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
30,000 football fans could be given the chance to participate in an experiment with rapid Covid-19 tests at Danish league matches this spring, according to a media report.

The experiment would test whether or not fans can gather safely to watch football matches outdoors with rapid coronavirus testing in place. 

The experiment, which will be conducted in partnership with Aarhus University Hospital, is awaiting final approval from health authorities, broadcaster DR reports. 

Fans will take the rapid tests prior to entering stadiums. During the match, some will sit close to one another while others will keep a two-metre social distance.

The fans will be tested again six to ten days later in order to see the effect of the event on infection transmission, according to Claus Thomsen, the director of Divisionsforeningen, the association for Danish professional football clubs.

“We will be able to see whether quick tests bring the infection risk down below the general level in society and whether they will make it responsible to attend football matches,” Thomsen told DR.

Under current restrictions, no more than five people are allowed to gather in public places, although up to 25 people are allowed to gather for outdoor sports or other activities under the auspices of an organisation.

Current guidelines from the Danish Ministry of Culture state that professional and national team athletes are exempted from the assembly ban and are allowed to continue training and competing. Those exceptions do not currently apply to gathering to watch a sports match outdoors, however.

An earlier exemption to coronavirus rules allowed for a maximum of 500 attendees at cultural events or sports competitions if spectators have permanent seats facing the field or stage, but that rule is not currently in effect.

As such, the general assembly ban of five people currently applies to sports fans.

READ ALSO: Which Covid-19 restrictions will stay in place in Denmark beyond March 1st?

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