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Euphoric clubs hit the dance floor again as Spain tries digital COVID-19 passports

Mandatory face masks could not hide their joy as the clubs in the Spanish city of Girona moved to the throbbing beats of house music put on by a live DJ.

For the first time in eight months, Girona had some of its nightlife back over the weekend thanks to a pilot digital pass scheme that authorities hope will allow for socializing without spreading coronavirus.

Since October, concerts have been banned in the north-eastern part of Catalonia, while restaurants and bars have been closed at night since December.

But under a scheme to revive the hospitality sector, residents of Girona could one evening obtain a digital passport that allowed them to go to a concert or dine out at five restaurants.

For this, they had to download an app to their mobile phones and undergo an antigen COVID-19 test, show a negative PCR test or proof that they had already had coronavirus.

About 250 people took the tickets to Saturday’s club night in 20 minutes.

Revealing wearing protective face masks dancing inside La Merce Cultural Center under the Open Girona initiative, which aims to offer a pilot digital healthcare passport scheme for reopening restaurants and businesses amid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Girona, Spain May 1, 2021 REUTERS / Nacho Doce

“It looks good to me because all of this affects us mentally. We can feel good physically but not mentally, so I think this kind of activity, controlled and with safety measures, is good,” said Susana Bergaz, 26, a factory worker from Girona.

The five restaurants that participated were allowed to operate with 80% capacity.

The passport is valid for up to 36 hours and costs between 2.50 euros and 8.50 euros ($ 3- $ 10.50).

“The Open Girona initiative is a project aimed at testing a model for digital testing and vaccination cards to reopen Girona in a safe and controlled manner,” organizers Blockchain Center in Catalonia, a public body, said in a statement on Sunday.

A rehearsal concert in Barcelona in March, where 5,000 people took quick COVID-19 tests and penetrated a place without social distance, did not lead to infections, organizers said earlier this month, giving hope to the dying live music sector.

($ 1 = 0.8321 euros)

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