By Ron Howells • 16 July 2021 • 8:04
Maskless music festival experiment fails after 1,000 become infected. image: Verknipt FaceBook
Maskless music festival experiment in Utrecht fails after 1,000 fans become infected.
Some 20,000 people attended the ‘Verknipt’ Festival in Utrecht ( Netherlands ) in early July, which has turned out to be the source of the largest coronavirus outbreak in the country, with around 1,000 people becoming infected.
The event was held on July 3 and 4 with neither the use of masks nor social distancing being required. As other cities have already done, it was part of an experiment to rethink the safe return to this type of event. Thus, in order to attend, organisers demanded music fans either be vaccinated, have had the virus, or produce a negative diagnostic test.
According to the ANP news agency, on the first day, at least 448 attendees were infected, while on the second there were about 516 who tested positive for covid.
The festival was held just days after the Dutch government lifted the restrictions imposed until then to control the pandemic. However, the Government has ‘backtracked’ and announced last Friday new measures ranging from the closure of nightlife to the suspension of all kinds of events lasting several days. And it is that infections have increased by 500% since the measures were relaxed on June 26.
The Netherlands is experiencing its highest rise in infections since 2020, registering more than 10,000 new cases a day, with a special incidence among young people, according to the authorities. A figure that returns them to the thresholds set by the pandemic in the country in December and that confirms the end of the downward trend that they had been registering in recent weeks.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte apologised earlier this week, acknowledging the country had moved too quickly to lift some of its measures.
Nightclubs and discos will close again until mid-August, the Dutch government said.
“What we thought was possible in practice turned out to be wrong after all,” Rutte said on Monday, according to Politico. “We made an error of judgment there, we regret that and apologize for that.”
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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