Night clubs open in Spain as it tests digital COVID-19 pass

  • A city in Spain has reopened some of its restaurants and night bars.
  • Residents were required to download a mobile app and show a negative PCR test to enjoy a night out. 
  • About 250 people snapped up tickets 20 minutes after they went on sale.

For the first time in eight months, the nightlife is back in Girona, Spain. The clubbers’ delights could not be concealed by their face masks as they danced to the beats of the DJ’s live music. 

Over the weekend, the Spanish city reopened some of its restaurants and night bars to pilot its digital pass scheme, with the hope of reviving the city’s hospitality industry without spreading the coronavirus. 

Catalonia has banned concerts in the region since October, while it required restaurants and bars to close at night since December.

But under the digital pass scheme, residents can go to a concert or eat at select restaurants.

To get a pass, the residents were asked to download a mobile app and show a negative PCR test or proof that they already had Covid. 

In less than 30 minutes, about 250 people secured tickets for a night out on Saturday. 

Susana Bergaz, 26, who works at a factory in Girona, said that the digital pass scheme is a great move. “It seems great to me, because all of this is affecting us mentally. We might be physically well, but not psychologically, so I think this kind of activities, controlled and with security measures, are great,” she said. 

Five restaurants were allowed to operate at 80% capacity for the pilot of the digital pass scheme. The residents can use the pass for up to 36 hours. It costs between 2.50 euros and 8.50 euros, which is equivalent to $3-$10.50.

According to the Blockchain Centre of Catalonia, a public body that organized the “The Open Girona” initiative, the project aims to test a digital testing and vaccination pass scheme that can help reopen the city with minimal risks of coronavirus spread. 

In March, a trial concert in Barcelona was attended by 5,000 people who took rapid COVID-19 tests. They were crammed into a venue without social distancing, but it did not drive up infections, according to organisers.

Source: Reuters

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