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At least 1,000 people have been infected with Covid-19 after attending a ‘coronavirus-free’ festival in Holland.
The Verknipt Outdoor Festival in Utrecht was attended by over 20,000 people over two days earlier this month.
It was a ‘test for entry’ event which required all festivalgoers to present a QR code proving they had either been vaccinated, recently infected, or had a negative Covid test.
At least 1,000 people have been infected with Covid-19 after attending a ‘coronavirus-free’ Verknipt Outdoor Festival in Utrecht, Holland in early July (Pictured, the Chin Chin Festival in Amsterdam)
It is the first time so many infections have been traced to a single event with Utrecht Health Commission (GGD) reporting 1,050 cases, a number still expected to rise.
‘Not all of these people were infected at the festival itself’, GGD spokesperson Lennart van Trigt said.
‘They could have been infected during a trip to the festival, or in the evening or after-party before going to the festival.
‘So the cases are all related to the festival, but I can’t say 100 per cent that they were infected at the festival’.
He added the number of cases was ‘quite astonishing’.
Van Trigt blamed the spike on rules that allow attendees to take Covid tests 40 hours before the event, meaning they still have time to catch the virus and become infectious before the festival.
‘I found this period too long’, he said.
‘I wish it was only a 24 hour [period]. It would be much better, as in 40 hours people can do many things such as visiting friends, going to bars and clubs. In 24 hours, people can do less and be safer.’
Van Trigt also complained authorities had been ‘a bit trigger happy’ ahead of the event, allowing residents to get vaccine passports immediately after their second jab, despite it taking weeks to build immunity.
Utrecht mayor Sharon Dijksma came under fire for attending the event, which saw masks and social distancing scrapped.
She later described the festival’s atmosphere as ‘a little tense’ on social media.
Holland has seen a spike in cases in recent weeks, after the government scrapped most restrictions on June 26 (Pictured: Amsterdam’s Paradiso reopens to a full crowd on June 26)
Holland has seen a spike in cases in recent weeks, after the government scrapped most restrictions on June 26.
Last Friday, the government reintroduced restrictions on bars, restaurants and nightclubs to stop a spate of infections among young adults, just two weeks after most lockdown measures were lifted as cases were falling. read more
Most lockdown measures were lifted on June 26, as an accelerated rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations drove infections sharply down.
Parliament was recalled from summer vacation for a special debate on a six-fold jump in infections, which on Wednesday rose above 10,000 in 24 hours for the first time in half a year.
The government will reimpose work-from-home guidelines due to soaring COVID-19 infections. The recommendation to work from home is not compulsory and applies only to people who can do so.
‘We are returning to the old advice,’ Rutte was quoted by news portal NU.nl as telling lawmakers on Wednesday.
The Dutch government has cancelled all multi-day festivals and events with large crowds as part of the curbs being imposed until August 14.
Holland has seen a spike in cases in recent weeks, forcing the government to reimpose some restrictions, including cancelling festivals such as Live Again!
The Dutch government has cancelled all multi-day festivals and events with large crowds as part of the curbs being imposed until August 14 (Pictured: Workers dismantle the stage for Live Again! after it was cancelled due to rising Covid cases)
Source: Daily Mail