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Saturday night fever: Amsterdam clubbers hit the dancefloor for COVID-19 experiment

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Never mind the face shields: clubbers dancing at a trial event at the Ziggo Dome, in Amsterdam, Saturday 6 March, 2021.
Never mind the face shields: clubbers dancing at a trial event at the Ziggo Dome, in Amsterdam, Saturday 6 March, 2021.   -   Copyright  NLNOS via EBU
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Can you even remember the last time you went out clubbing or sang your heart out at a concert?

Lucky revelers in Amsterdam got a welcome reprieve from lockdowns and curfews this weekend – but only as part of a public health experiment.

Around 1,300 people hit the dancefloor on Saturday night for the event at Amsterdam's Ziggo Dome.

They were split into five groups – or “bubbles” – each with different rules to follow. Some had to wear face masks, while others were encouraged to shout and cheer as much as possible. All were equipped with tags monitoring how much contact they had with others.

Those who attended had to present a negative coronavirus test 48 hours before the event, and they have been asked to take another coronavirus test five days after the event.

The evening was part of a series of experiments led by Fieldlab Events, an initiative set up by the government and the events industry to see if large groups can gather safely.

Pieter Lubberts, programme manager at Fieldlab, told Euronews the team still needed several weeks to analyse the results of the experiments, discuss them with Dutch authorities and "see how this will influence the roadmap" the government has to ease the country out of lockdown restrictions.

There’s already plenty of demand from the public, Lubberts said. The Ziggo Dome’s normal capacity is 17,000, and nearly 180,000 people have shown interest in the experimental events.

Watch the interview in the video player above.