Almost 5,000 Covid cases linked to Cornish music and surf festival
"Like if you got Covid at Boardies" is commented numerous times on the festival's Instagram
Almost 5,000 Covid cases have been linked to the Boardmasters festival which took place in Cornwall between August 11 and August 15. Now, two weeks after the festivities concluded, 'like if you got Covid at Boardmasters' has become a frequent comment beneath the festival's posts.
Though Boardmasters initially thought of cancelling the festival, it claimed that staff and organisers had worked together to ensure the safety of its 50,000 guests. However, public health officials say there are 4,700 people who have tested positive for coronavirus confirmed they had attended the festival in Newquay or had connections to it. 75 per cent of them are aged 16-21 with around 800 living in the local area.
The festival asked all ticket-holders aged 11 and over to illustrate their Covid status through the NHS app before entering, and though face masks were not compulsory, they were encouraged. For those camping at the festival, they were asked to do a lateral flow test during the event and log their results in the app.
“Covid cases have been rising steadily across Cornwall over recent weeks – particularly in our tourist hotspots," said Rachel Wigglesworth, the director of public health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
“Big events and mass gatherings like Boardmasters are now permitted and our public health team worked closely with the organisers over many weeks to ensure the event was as Covid-safe as possible.
Despite the monumental climb in cases in the Cornwall area, organisers said it had put in “risk management measures above and beyond national guidelines.
“These included use of the NHS Covid pass as a condition of entry. The system detected over 450 people who would otherwise have been at risk of passing on the virus and as a result did not attend our Watergate Bay site or left the festival early. No event is able to eliminate risk entirely.”
Despite the festival's assurance that Covid guidelines were met, numerous people in their comments section are claiming the hygiene levels were appalling.
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