Schmidt: "museums and theaters the safest places for Covid." Confirmation from the University of Berlin

Uffizi Director Eike Schmidt comments on the results of the reopening and says museums and theaters are the safest places from Covid infection, citing a study by the University of Berlin.

Nearly 20,000 visitors have visited the Uffizi Galleries in the first two weeks after reopening, just in time before the Florentine museum closes again, as Tuscany has been placed in the orange belt, a measure that forces it to close museums again. In fourteen actual days of accessibility (starting Jan. 21, the date of reopening after a 77-day closure, the longest since the end of World War II), the Uffizi recorded 18,146 admissions, hitting a record on Friday, Feb. 12, the last day of reopening, with 2,029 admissions.

“The numbers of the last reopening,” says Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi, “confirm the strong desire of citizens for culture. We hope the new closure will be short-lived. Just in the last few days, a study by the University of Berlin came out, according to which museums and theaters with reduced co-presence are the public places with the lowest risk of contagion-a far lower risk than compared to supermarkets, stores and restaurants. Art and culture are essential for everyone!”

The study by Technische Universität Berlin

The study referred to by Eike Schmidt was conducted by the Hermann-Rietschel-Instituts of the Technische Universität Berlin in collaboration with the Robert Koch-Institut (the counterpart of our own Institute of Health) and the University Hospital of the Charité in Berlin. This study, led by Professor Martin Kriegel, director of the Hermann-Rietschel-Instituts (the university institute specializing in indoor air quality control) found that schools and open-plan offices are the places most at risk, while museums and theaters with small capacity are the safest places.

Professor Kriegel’s team conducted the study based on typical length of stay in environments (eight hours in an office, one hour in a supermarket, one and a half hours in a gymnasium, and so on), the quality of airflows, the type of activity conducted in the room, and the dose of aerosol particles inhaled by people in the environments. Each place was associated with an R-value, where if it equals 1 it means that in that room one person infects another.

As mentioned, the safest places are theaters and museums with 30 percent occupancy and audiences wearing masks: the index is 0.5. Next, hairdressing salon, with mask: 0.6. In third position, theaters and museums with 40 percent occupancy and masks: 0.6. In fourth place, surprisingly, local public transportation, with mask: 0.8. Next, in fifth position, the supermarket with masking (1) tied with the cinema, without masking, and 30% occupancy (1). In quick succession: shopping with masking in 10 square meters per person, cinema without masking at 40 percent occupancy and restaurant at 25 percent occupancy (1.1); sports arenas at 50 percent without masking and long-distance trains and buses on 3-hour trips, 50 percent occupancy and masking (1.5); multi-person offices, 20% occupancy, masking (1.6); swimming pool (2.3); restaurant 50% occupancy (2.3); high school 50% occupancy with masking (2.9); gymnasium 50% occupancy without masking (3.4); high school 50% occupancy without masking (5.8); office 50% occupancy without masking (8); full high school without masking (11.5).

Schmidt: "museums and theaters the safest places for Covid." Confirmation from the University of Berlin

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