According to Brooklyn Vegan, 1050 people tested positive for COVID-19 after they attended the Verknipt Music Festival in the Netherlands earlier this month. The numbers were reported by Utrecht’s regional health board.
The festival is an outdoor event held on July 3 and 4 at Recreatieplas Strijkvierte in the city of Utrecht. It is reported that over 20,000 people attended throughout the two-day run of the event. Attendees were reportedly required to prove through a QR-code based system that they had either been vaccinated for COVID-19, recently tested negative for the virus or recently recovered from it before they were permitted to attend.
Lennart van Trigt, a spokesperson for the Utrecht health board, spoke about the stunning number of people who tested positive after the festival. “We cannot say that all these people were infected at the festival itself,” he said, “it could also be possible that they’ve been infected while travelling to the festival or in the evening before going to the festival or having an after-party.”
Van Trigt then suggested that the number of cases could increase, and spoke about how this situation has highlighted flaws within the process of screening people before entry into events. Attendees were allowed to use test results from up to 40 hours before the festival started in order to gain entry. “We’ve found out now that this period is too long,” he said. “We should have had a 24 hour (period), that would be a lot better because in 40 hours people can do a lot of things like visiting friends and going to bars and clubs.”
The Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge stated that they made an “error of judgement” by lifting the COVID restrictions within the country too early. In response to the rising number of cases in the country, many events and activities such as nightclubs in the Netherlands are now required to shut down again until August 13, with other COVID-related restrictions put back in place.