In a study by TU Delft, conducted as part of Fieldlab Events' third phase aimed at knowledge enrichment, the effect of opening large-scale events during relaxation moments in 2021 and 2022 is examined.
Interestingly, the study found no clear correlation between these relaxations and an increase in the COVID-19 reproduction number. This is despite the assumption that large events, due to their high attendance numbers and close-contact environment, would have a significant impact on the spread of the virus.
Although the risk of infection is higher at events, the research suggests that the effect of events on virus figures is limited. This may be due to several factors, including the general epidemiological situation, such as virus variants and vaccination rates, and the relatively small number of contact moments at events compared to other social interactions.
TU Delft has come up with three recommendations for the future. First, improving data collection to better identify high-risk locations. Secondly, more research into the relative risk contribution of different locations to the total infections. Finally, further study on the balance between precaution and risk assessment in different phases of a pandemic.
This research is of great importance to the events sector, as it provides insights into how events can be organized and managed in times of health crises, with an emphasis on both safety and feasibility.
The full report, a valuable resource for anyone in the events industry, is available for further details and insights (Dutch): Fieldlab data-analyse eindrapport.pdf