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Probe into virus outbreak linked to Cornwall festival

Probe into virus outbreak linked to Cornwall festival: Up to 4,700 Covid cases connected to Boardmasters event are being investigated by health officials

  • Boardmasters Festival organisers said to be working with public health partners 
  • Spokesman for the festival said it used the NHS Covid Pass as condition of entry 
  • Attendees had to provide a negative lateral flow test taken within 24 hours

An outbreak of 4,700 coronavirus cases linked to a music festival in Cornwall is being investigated by health officials.

The organisers of Boardmasters Festival said they were working with public health partners after thousands of infections suspected to be linked to the event emerged.

A spokesman for the festival, which took place from August 11 to 15, said it used the NHS Covid Pass as a condition of entry which ‘detected over 450 people who would otherwise have been at risk of passing on the virus’ who did not attend the festival or left it early.

The all-ages festival, which included headliners Foals and Gorillaz, outlined its Covid-19 policy on its website

Public Health England has said some people who tested positive reported they began developing symptoms after going to the festival

Public Health England has said some people who tested positive reported they began developing symptoms after going to the festival

The spokesman added: ‘No event is able to eliminate risk entirely and the latest Test and Trace data includes reported infections among the 76,000 people who visited the festival or related activities at Fistral Beach in Newquay and the wider area.

‘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.’

The spokesman said organisers would share their experience with 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’.

The all-ages festival, which included headliners Foals and Gorillaz, outlined its Covid-19 policy on its website.

It said the festival would ask all ticket-holders aged 11 and over to demonstrate their Covid-19 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 (with the second received 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 Friday August 13 and log their results in the NHS Covid Pass app.

A spokesman for the festival, which took place from August 11 to 15, said it used the NHS Covid Pass as a condition of entry

A spokesman for the festival, which took place from August 11 to 15, said it used the NHS Covid Pass as a condition of entry

Attendees had to bring their own lateral flow tests.

Face masks were not compulsory but were encouraged.

Public Health England has said some people who tested positive reported they began developing symptoms after going to the festival.

Professor Mike Wade, deputy regional director and NHS regional director of public health for Public Health England South West, said: “We are working with colleagues at Cornwall Council to monitor what impact the Boardmasters Festival may have had on Covid case numbers, and we are starting to see cases reporting that they attended the event prior to developing symptoms or testing positive. We will continue to monitor the data closely as we have throughout the pandemic.”

He added that people should exercise caution when mixing and encouraged people to get vaccinated, test themselves with lateral flow tests before meeting friends and wearing a face mask indoors.

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