More than 1,000 attendees of an outdoor music festival in the Netherlands have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 since the event took place.
Verknipt Festival in Utrecht boasted more than 20,000 attendees and was described as a Covid-secure return for dance music, preventing entry to anybody without full vaccination or proof of a negative test.
However, CNBC reports that the event is at the centre of a mass Covid outbreak, as confirmed by Utrecht’s regional heath board.
“We cannot say that all these people were infected at the festival itself,” said Lennart van Trigt, a spokesman for the Utrecht health board, per Pitchfork.
“It could also be possible that they’ve been infected while travelling to the festival or in the evening before going to the festival or having an after-party.”
— Fatima Hajji (@fatimahajji) July 4, 2021
Van Trigt added that festival-goers were permitted to take tests up to 40 hours before the event, which he described as “too long” a window. It has since been reduced to 24 hours.
“In 40 hours people can do a lot of things like visiting friends and going to bars and clubs,” van Trigt added.
The Dutch prime minister and health minister have apologised for lifting restrictions too early while Utrecht mayor Sharon Dijksma, who is said to have taken a selfie at the festival, apologised for the “error of judgment” in going ahead with the event.
The outbreak comes as gig-goers in England prepare to return to watch live music on ‘freedom day’.
As part of the government’s unlocking plan, nightlife has today (July 19) returned in England without social distancing or capacity limits as the country enters the fourth and final stage of its route out of lockdown.
A large number of nightclubs held special opening parties last night, opening their doors as the restrictions were lifted at midnight.
The Music Venue Trust has since encouraged attendees to take a lateral flow test before attending