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Big Concerts, The Entertainment Group partner with Health Passport Europe in aim to safely reopen SA's events industry

Big Concerts and The Entertainment Group have partnered with the Irish-based Health Passport Europe in an effort to reopen the South African events industry while adhering to Covid-19 safety protocols. The companies will be using rapid Covid-19 testing and the Health Passport Europe mobile technology.

The live event Recharge 2020 took place on 21 December 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa, at the Grand Café & Beach venue, with multiple live acts and DJs. The event passed off safely to represent an important stepping-stone towards a wider reopening of live events in 2021.

The platform, which efficiently supports Covid-19 vaccinations and testing, is set to be deployed at events in Italy and Portugal, where the system can be used to safely re-open the tourist sector.

Ahead of the Recharge 2020 event, all attendees including staff were required to download and set up the Health Passport Europe mobile app for free. On the day of the event, everyone was tested for Covid-19 before entering, using rapid antigen tests that are already validated for use in South Africa.

All staff, performers and guests were tested before the event. Multiple positive detections were successfully made during pre-testing. Anyone who tested positive was not permitted onto the event site but was given professional medical advice.

Within 20 minutes of testing, the results are updated privately and securely to the person’s Health Passport Europe app. At entry, security staff were able to quickly scan the person’s ticket and the person’s Health Passport Europe app, and only those with a negative Covid-19 test were allowed into the venue, ensuring the lowest levels of transmission risk for all. Covid-19 health guidelines were also followed by all within the event site.

People who presented for pre-testing who had Covid-19 symptoms were not tested but instead advised to follow national health guidelines.

Justin Van Wyk, CEO of Big Concerts, said: “This was an important moment for the events industry, which has been devastated by the pandemic. Using the Health Passport Europe platform allowed this event to proceed with the highest levels of risk mitigation, demonstrating the way forward for live events globally. The system allowed us to offer pre-and post-event testing for maximum reassurance, protecting attendees, performers and everyone connected with the event.”

Robert Quirke, the founder of Health Passport Europe, said:

Our team is excited and humbled to have worked on this project for Cape Town and to have contributed to the safe reopening of international entertainment and tourism. The secure technology is engineered to work with all official Covid-19 tests and vaccinations. Many thousands of people are already using the mobile system and it is helping industries to return.
The Health Passport Europe platform has been adopted by many leading medical and pharmacy organisations that are providing Covid-19 testing services. The technology has passed all trials and development, having been extensively tested across a range of industries including healthcare, logistics, hospitality, education, and nursing homes, as well as a trial at Dublin Airport.

The process has already been engineered to safely test over 100,000 people within 10 hours, with the results, travel certificates or vaccination documents immediately uploaded within the person’s app.

The Health Passport Europe system has been engineered as a secure system for people to store and display their official Covid-19 vaccination or test status. It is a common international platform for all industries and the public.

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