Fourteen months after the declaration of the state of alarm and the nightlife was closed by the pandemic, Sitges held a clinical trial tonight in which near 400 volunteers enjoyed night bars again Without the need to keep social distance, although with a mask, use of hydroalcoholic gel and after having undergone a rapid antigen test.
The local authorities of the coastal town, the Generalitat and companies in the sector, among other organizations, coordinated a trial that was held in five establishments in the town and served to analyze a possible reopening of the activity of bars and nightclubs within the current situation caused by the pandemic of covid-19 and in the process of vaccinating the population. “We want this economic recovery of nightlife, an economic sector that has been closed for a long time, we want workers to be able to reopen and be able to go back to work and on the other hand we want citizens, society, to also be able to enjoy the night and nightlife, because it is very necessary in these times, “said the mayor of Sitges, Aurora Carbonell, to the press moments before the start of the event. “For us today is a great night and we hope that everything turns out in the most positive way possible, because we want nightlife to recover not only in Sitges, but throughout the country,” he added.
According to the organization, of the 500 applications received, the Sitges city council selected 405 volunteers and around fifty workers and security personnel from the premises who were subjected to an antigen test a few hours before the event began, of which, none tested positive. During the tests, many of the volunteers claimed to feel excited and eager to see what would happen and if the test could be the beginning of the return to normality. “It’s like a relief, like everything returns to normal after so many months. Wanting to enjoy a little and let normalcy return“Aitana Llimos, one of the participants, told EFE after taking the antigen test.
The rehearsal took place in the so-called ‘Calle del Pecado’, the nerve center of the town’s leisure activity, which was cut off and isolated so that only volunteers could go from one place to another and enjoy a festive night without distancing social activities, as close as possible to a pre-pandemic night shift despite basic health restrictions. As the fences were opened to enter the street and the event began, the volunteers were excited, hugging and dancing without remorse, which had become something strange with the pandemic. “It is a fantastic feeling after more than 15 months that we have not been able to leave after 11.00 pm to have a normal life, have a few drinks with friends, chat and have fun and dance … for me it is great, sincerely great”, Joaquin Millan, one of the volunteers, told EFE in front of one of the bars.
For Andreis Sircheli, a worker in one of the establishments open for the trial, “it is a small step on a global level, but a great step for the businesses of this town, so that brings hope, joy and especially a feeling of freedom”.
In addition to the antigen test prior to the event, attendees must take another quick test six days later of the trial and be available for follow-up for two weeks, which will allow authorities to check the impact of the activity on contagion rates.
In March, Catalonia was also the scene of another rehearsal of this type, when some 5,000 people were able to attend a concert by the musical group ‘Love of Lesbian’ in Barcelona. On that occasion, the screening carried out by the Germans Trias University Hospital showed promising figures, since of the six people who two weeks later tested positive, it was determined that four of them were infected in another location.
Nightlife in Spain It has been devastated by the pandemic, which has forced the closure of around 5,000 nightclubs and has cost the industry some 2.85 billion euros, according to the National Federation of Leisure and Entertainment Entrepreneurs.