Largest Covid-free event test: Oranje vs. Latvia World Cup qualifier
The Johan Cruijff Arena will be turned into a testing ground for the World Cup qualifying match of the Dutch national team against Latvia. Various studies will be conducted as part of the Fieldlab experiments. For example, in the toilets behind the main grandstand, UV-C lamps were installed, ensuring that the area is disinfected after each visit. Green and red lights above the entrance to the toilets indicate whether the area is accessible.
The qualifying match of Oranje on Saturday is the ninth event of the Fieldlab experiments, which studies how events can be held safely and responsibly with the public during the coronavirus pandemic. With 5,000 visitors, just under 10 percent of the Arena's capacity, this will be the largest study to date. The available tickets were sold within 1.5 hours.
Football fans who have a ticket must take a rapid test beforehand and are required to show the results at the stadium gates via the CoronaCheck app. As soon as they are inside, they no longer have to adhere to the 1.5-meter social distancing rule. The organization calls on all visitors to have themselves tested again five days after the match. At previous events, this sometimes resulted in a few positive cases.
The 5000 visitors are divided into nine "bubbles". Each bubble has its own set of measures and a specific test goal. For example, TU Eindhoven is researching the distribution of aerosols (small droplets) through the air in one subject. The fans do not have to wear a mask and are allowed to sing, shout and cheer. With more than a hundred measuring sensors in the stands, the number and size of the droplet cores are continuously measured. Halfway through the competition, the researchers will change the ventilation system to measure the influence of two different systems.
In one of the sky boxes in the Arena, a limited number of guests will follow the game from behind the glass. The air quality in the skybox is continuously monitored and can also be followed in real-time by visitors. This research wants to see how good air quality can be maintained, for example, by ventilating the room.
As with the previous Fieldlabs, the visitors are given a tag, with which all their contact moments and "behavior" in the stands are registered. In the Arena, tests are also being carried out with a bracelet that closely monitors the number of close contacts and their duration. Via another tag with a built-in screen, visitors are warned when they come near busy places. Based on the location of the person with the tag, messages containing specific information appear.