News Coronavirus Nearly 5000 festival-goers catch COVID

Nearly 5000 festival-goers catch COVID

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Nearly 5000 people who attended a music festival in Cornwall have tested positive for coronavirus.

Health officials are investigating 4700 cases after the Boardmasters event, headlined by Foals and Gorillaz.

The event, which ran in the Newquay area from August 11-15, was attended by about 76,000 people.

The all-ages festival had outlined its coronavirus policy on its website, stipulating all ticket-holders aged 11 and over would be asked to demonstrate their COVID status through the NHS Covid Pass app before entering.

This meant attendees had to provide proof of a negative lateral flow test taken within 24 hours of arrival at the festival gates, proof of being vaccinated with both doses (the second at least 14 days before the festival), or proof of natural immunity following a positive PCR test (provided it had been at least 10 days and up to 180 days after taking the test).

People who camped at the festival had to take a second NHS lateral flow test during the event on August 13 and log their results in the NHS Covid Pass app.

Attendees had to bring their own lateral flow tests.

Face masks were not compulsory but were encouraged.

A spokesperson for Boardmasters said the policy led to 450 people being detected as at risk of passing on the virus. They were turned away or asked to leave early.

“No event is able to eliminate risk entirely,” the spokesman said.

“We will continue to work with our public health partners to understand the extent to which attendance at the festival has contributed to the figures.

“We look forward to sharing our experience with our local authority partners and other large events so we can all continue to provide much needed economic benefit to our communities and entertainment to our loyal audiences.”