"The Lancet" journal endorses the conclusions of the Apollo concert clinical trial

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Participants in the Apollo trial, including the hall's director, Alberto Guijarro, waiting for the result of the antigen test.

BarcelonaThe team of the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital had already announced it a few months ago: the clinical trial in the form of a concert held at the Sala Apolo in Barcelona on 12 December was a success, in the sense that none of the nearly half thousand participants tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. In other words, the strict measures applied at an event where the audience did not have to respect the prophylactic distance were effective. Even so, it was a preliminary study and it lacked the endorsement that the publication of the findings in a scientific journal gives, which is what The Lancet has done this Thursday.

"The study has been the first to confirm that the previous massive testing with fast antigen tests, the use of face masks provided by the organization, and an optimization of the ventilation of the indoor venue prevent the transmission of covid during the event", explain Boris Revollo and Josep Maria Llibre, the head doctors of the team of the Fundació Lluita contra la Sida i les Malalties Infeccioses in charge of the trial. The 465 people attending the trial-concert, aged between 18 and 59, had to take an antigen test and a PCR a few hours before the concert, and a week later another PCR to determine whether they had been infected. According to Revollo and Llibre, "this result has marked a turning point in the celebration of cultural events in closed environments in times of coronavirus around the world". For example, the UK Public Health Service has launched a pilot programme with up to fifteen events based on the data obtained in the Sala Apollo, and similar trials are underway in the Netherlands.

The conclusions published in The Lancet include the assessment of the trial participants: they rated their willingness to attend another event with the same safety protocols with almost a 10 out of 10, and most said they felt like they could behave as usual despite the precautions. The same scientific team supervised in March the Love of Lesbian concert at Palau Sant Jordi, also with the audience standing, wearing masks, and without prophylactic distance. And they are also advising the Vida, Canet Rock and Cruïlla festivals, the first to be held outdoors where the audience will have no restrictions on movement.