More than 1,000 test positive after attending Latitude Festival as part of Covid pilot scheme for large events

40,000 people attended the festival, which is part of the Event Research Programme

Ella Glover
Wednesday 25 August 2021 02:09
comments
<p>Data showed that 619 people got infected at the festival while 432 would have been infectious at the time of the event</p>

Data showed that 619 people got infected at the festival while 432 would have been infectious at the time of the event

More than 1,000 people who attended a government pilot scheme for large events have tested positive for coronavirus.

Some 40,000 people flocked to Latitude Festival, which was held in Henham Park, near Southwold, Suffolk from July 22 to July 25, and was part of the government’s Event Research Programme.

Other test events included the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final at Wembley and the Tramlines music festival in Sheffield.

Those attending had to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test or be double vaccinated to access the site, but data released by Suffolk County Council reportedly shows 1,051 people tested positive for Covid in the days after the event.

Of those, 619 people got infected at the festival while 432 would have been infectious at the time of the event.

According to the data, 175 of those infected were people living in Suffolk. Figures for the seven days up to and including 20 August show Suffolk had a rate of 241 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.

The news has prompted renewed calls for people to continue to follow previous Covid safety measures, such as wearing a mask and socially distancing, both of which were scrapped by the government after the final phase of easing restrictions in the country.

Stuart Keeble, director of Suffolk Public Health, said: “Latitude Festival was part of an event research pilot by central government, which set the parameters and Covid guidance for the event.

“We were one of many partners who helped implement Covid-security in line with Government advice.”

He added: “As Suffolk reopens once again and people attend busy events or attractions, it’s important that people continue to be considerate of others and wear a mask or keep their distance where appropriate.

“Covid is still circulating in the county and whilst the majority of us are double jabbed, we cannot be sure that those people around us won’t become very unwell if they catch it.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden urged people to get vaccinated in order to keep large events safe.

He said: “We’ve shown that we can reintroduce mass sports and cultural events safely but it is important that people remain cautious when mixing in very crowded settings.

“So that we can keep the football season, theatres and gigs safe with full crowds this winter, I urge sport, music and culture fans to get the vaccine as this is the safest way we can get big events firing on all cylinders once more.”

PA

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments