with an eye to reopening tourism, sporting and music events/festivals at the highest possible safety level.

testFRWD is an international organisation dedicated to finding solutions for the tourism and event industries during the current pandemic. Their patented PCR saliva test-kit is CE certified with a ​sensitivity/specificity of more than 99% – far higher than that of the rapid antigen test. It’s the first PCR COVID-19 self-test kit that can be performed at home, completely painlessly, and without the need for a health professional.

The self-test kit is already available in pharmacies and stores across Austria and is being used by the Austrian government to regularly test school children. In the capital, Vienna, ambitious plans are in motion to distribute up to 1.5 million test-kits per week for free, in order to begin reopening restaurants, cultural and sporting events. Top international football clubs like Bayern München, AC Milan, Rapid Wien and UEFA for EURO are presenting testFRWD’s ​roadmap towards the safe reopening of sporting events for the public to local authorities. Alongside the events industry, testFRWD’s concept is being developed and adapted for use by airlines, hospitals and educational institutions.

Reliably guaranteeing a ​non-infectious time window of 72 hours​, PCR testing will be key to reviving the events industry. New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo, recently unveiled similar plans to introduce PCR testing at large New York venues: ‘The truth is, we cannot stay closed until everyone is vaccinated. The economic, psychological, emotional cost would be incredible,’ he explains. In New York from the 23rd of February, fans ​who provide a negative result from a PCR test carried out within 72 hours of an event will be able to attend music shows and performances as well as baseball, soccer, football and basketball games, NBC New York reports.​ According to Cuomo, the plan ​‘hits the balance of a safe reopening. A PCR test is as safe as you can get.’

testFRWD’s approved toolset meets all demands for large-scale events to go ahead without losing sight of government regulations, by ensuring a 100% tested crowd, monitored by an entry control app. Logistical integration with local partner laboratories gives testFRWD a testing capacity of 200,000 per day.

Testers follow a series of intuitive steps explained within the test-kit and app. After a digital registration and personal identification process via the application’s QR code, individuals film themselves mouthwashing for 1 minute with a saline solution provided in the kit. A sophisticated facial recognition algorithm documents who is using the test. The sample is then collected and sent for PCR testing, the result available via app 24 hours from arrival at the laboratory. The tester is automatically notified within the app, which also provides a timestamp, granting access to the desired event.

When applied, this testing process enables event organisers to attain event permissions from local health authorities and control the risk of spreading the virus. It allows those in the events and tourism industry to once again plan and budget in certainty, building a reputation for safety and minimizing the risk of last-minute cancellations.

This year’s Lighthouse Festival will act as a proof-of-concept event for the electronic music industry – the first 3-day ‘safe space’ event based on the PCR method.