The Five Weak Points Of The Government's Plan To Return

The five weak points of the Government’s plan to return to the stadiums

The limitation of capacity, the use of masks or the prohibition of eating and drinking generate certain questions for the experts.

The Government's announcement will allow the Football League to end with people in the stands.

This is something as desired by some as it is feared by others: thousands of people in the same room for two hours cheering on a team could be the recurring nightmare of any doctor or nurse in the last year. However, the time has come and the security protocol is solid.

The Government has announced that the LaLiga football stadiums (first and second division) will open this weekend in those communities that are in phase 1, that is, that do not exceed 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.

“The scope is very small, but it makes sense”, considers the president of the Valencian Society of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, John Francis Navarro. Precisely, this community, together with the Balearic Islands, are the only ones that currently meet the criteria for this opening of the courts to the public.

This norm “has its foundation” and he sees it as positive, but that does not mean that it is without risk. Therefore, the expert makes several warnings. “A 30% capacity is still a high occupancy rate“, he indicates, “it would probably not guarantee the safety distance”.

It will not be a problem, in principle: there is a limit of 5,000 people in stadiums whose 30% capacity exceeds that capacity, and the two first division football teams (Valencia and Villarreal) far exceed it.

Perhaps it is a more delicate situation on the basketball courts. Although the protocol for the return to the public in the ACB has not yet been closed, if the 30% rule is applied in the Fuente de San Luis Pavilion, ‘home’ of the Valencia Basket Club, would go from 8,500 people to about 2,500. In a closed space, too.

Accesses, bathrooms and cafeterias

But Navarro is more concerned about entrances and other spaces in the building such as bathrooms and cafeterias, where the risk of transmission is greater. At least the latter ones are understood to remain closed, since It will be forbidden to eat inside the court. As for the entrances and exits, he trusts that they are “very orderly” to minimize the possibility of transmission.

Beyond the risks, the doctor does not make sense of the obligation to use FFP2 masks inside the stadiums. “Well adjusted, surgical masks and FFP2 hit and miss the same thing: part of the air is not breathed through it”. Also remember that “what gives a guarantee in these spaces is the diffusion of air, not personal protection.”

And what remains uncomprehended is the taking temperature in these events, “which has been shown to be ineffective regarding the detection of possible cases of contagions”. Not only because of the high proportion of asymptomatic patients, but also because “from 40 years of age, people with the disease can have symptoms with very little fever.”

The preventivist understands the dissuasive effect of the infrared thermometer, as well as the desire of the fans to return to feel the emotion of the goals in direct. This measure “improves the morale of the population and allows the season to end with the public.” And remember: “Broadcasting at sporting events has never been important.”