UTRECHT NL (CelebrityAccess) — In what should be a stark warning to event organizers everywhere, a music festival which took place in the Netherlands in early July reportedly led to more than 1,000 new coronavirus infections, despite a test for entry requirement.
According to CNBC, the Verknipt outdoor festival, which took place in Utrecht, drew more than 20,000 fans over two days and left one in 20 of them infected with COVID-19.
“We cannot say that all these people were infected at the festival itself; 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. So they’re (the cases) all linked to the festival, but we can’t 100% say they were infected at the festival,” Lennart van Trigt, a spokesman for the Utrecht health board, or GGD, said.
Fans attending the event were required to provide proof that they had been vaccinated or provide the results of a recent negative Covid test in order to gain admittance to the festival. However, the rules allowed for negative tests to have been conducted up to 40 hours before admittance, CNBC reported.
“We’ve found out now that this period is too long. We should have had a 24 hour [period], that would be a lot better because in 40 hours people can do a lot of things like visiting friends and going to bars and clubs. So in a period of 24 hours people can do less things and it’s safer,” Van Trigt told CNBC.
The festival also allowed fans to attend the festival almost immediately after receiving a vaccination when most of current vaccinations require several weeks before they are fully effective at limiting the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement posted to their social media, a spokesperson for festival organizer Verknipt Events said:
Messed up friends!
The CDC has come out today with the latest update on infections that may be traced back to Verknipped Festival. We are shocked by the number of possible contamination at the festival in Utrecht, with a total of 20.000 visitors on July 3th and 4th: We discussed the permit until just before the event with the municipality of Utrecht to the detail about the permit and especially looked at all the corona measures. This has resulted in a 45 page document containing additional corona protocols, in addition to existing safety measures.
We have strictly checked for QR codes and IDs. However, we couldn’t see if people who had received a Jansen vaccination, recovery license or Testing for Access based on QR codes.
We already indicated beforehand that people would not enter without a ticket and an expired QR code did not provide access. Through good signing, the use of time slots to prevent crowds at the entrance and the use of the Close app, we have done everything we can to prevent this from happening. Furthermore, we installed extra high fences to prevent other visitors from entering without a ticket, handed out masks at the outflow of the shuttle buses and made it mandatory to wear those masks on the bus. The municipality has informed us that we have left a solid impression with that approach and according to the CDC, the source is difficult to trace.
All of that strengthens us in the thought that we did well, but that does not make the number of infections less acidic.
The CDC has also indicated that many of the visitors to Verknipped who are infected carried the virus with them before they were at the festival grounds.
Do you have complaints that fit the corona virus? Make an appointment online at www.coronatest.nl or by phone (0800-1202) for a rest at a CDC testing location nearby. Are you being tested positive? In that case, share if you’ve been to the show, this will help with the source and contact search.
Coronavirus infections have spiked in the Netherlands in recent weeks. Last week, the country announced a return to limited lockdown after almost fully re-opening on June 26th with a majority of new cases among people aged between 20-29 years.