A leading doctor in Denmark specialising in vaccinations says rapid testing could be key to keeping hospitality and events safe when doors reopen for indoor use. The idea is not to use a centralised testing facility but to take the tests on site to the venues.
With restrictions easing, Dr Jonas Nilsen says rapid testing at events should be introduced to both keep people safe and hospitality moving and his company Practio has now launched an initiative, offering decentralised testing in Danish hospitality venues to allow indoor hospitality to open sooner than planned.
The Practio pilot scheme, Dr Nilsen says, will allow hospitality to open indoors safely by reducing the risk of transmission of infection and keeping spaces safe.
The pilot service for the decentralised rapid testing programme in hospitality venues is being launched together with the craft brewery company Mikkeller.
For those wanting to sit inside venues in Denmark, rather than brave the cold, they will need to take a rapid test. The test is conducted by venue staff and the result is returned within 15 minutes and is valid for 72 hours. Meaning inside seating can be approved at indoor hospitality within that time.
Dr Nilsen (pictured) says: “The ongoing conversation around ‘vaccine passports’ has been met with criticism and discussions around ethics and whether the system could be discriminatory. In Denmark outdoor hospitality is open to all, tested or not. But, the risk of transmission is lower outside than inside and this rapid testing partnership with hospitality venues ensures those that want to be inside will be doing it safely and reducing the risk of infection where chances are higher.
“The result is valid for 72 hours and can be used until it expires. On average you become contagious around 72 hours after infection. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible for someone to be infected and then become infectious within the 72-hour period, but it does mean that the likelihood of this happening is greatly reduced. As I see it, this is a logical solution to keep indoor hospitality safe for customers and open indefinitely to help aid the economy and get the industry back on its feet.
“For the industry this is insurance. Hospitality has taken a beating since the start of the pandemic and with the introduction of rapid testing at venues, the scheme should ensure that they remain open, trading and safe.
“The pandemic is unlikely to end by vaccinations alone, an approach that encompasses rapid testing and vaccinations is likely to be the solution out of this.”