Boardmasters to closely monitor impact on Covid cases

The organisers of Boardmasters say they will closely monitor the festival’s impact on Covid cases in the coming weeks.

Their comments come following reports that a growing number of young people who attended the festival at Watergate Bay have contracted the virus.

Newquay – where the festival was based – currently has the highest infections rate in England.

Read more: Newquay’s soaring Covid infection rates now highest in England

Official figures from Public Health England are unlikely to be available until early next week.

Since the Government allowed live events to return, Boardmasters worked closely with experts from Cornwall Council’s Public Health service, wider Cornwall Council departments, the NHS and emergency services to put in place a variety of measures to manage the risk of infection at what is effectively a pop-up town with 50,000 temporary residents and visitors.

A spokesperson for the festival said: “In addition to having the advantage of perhaps the best ventilated venue in the country, we asked festival goers to play their part in reducing the impact of potential infection by showing proof of full vaccination, a negative lateral flow test or immunity from having had the virus before they could join us on site.

“All staff, regardless of vaccination status, had to show a negative test every 48 hours and all campers were asked to re-test before they could come back into the arena on Friday.

“By giving those who had to isolate on festival dates, or who tested positive for Covid-19 before or during the festival, the ability to roll-over their tickets to 2022, we made sure they would not lose out by following the guidance and helping to reduce infections. We are processing over 450 requests from those affected and we are very grateful to them for doing their bit for the entire Boardmasters community.”

The spokesperson added: “Like any town, we cannot eliminate risk entirely and, while it is still too early to see from the data if there has been any impact on Covid-19 cases, there are likely to be anecdotal reports of some people who were at the festival among those who test positive in the days following. Cornwall Council’s public health team will be closely monitoring the data in the coming weeks, as will we.”

A spokesperson from Cornwall Council agreed it was still too early to say whether the festival has had any impact on Covid case numbers in the county.

“We will be monitoring the data closely as we have done throughout the pandemic. Our advice to residents and anyone visiting Cornwall remains the same – if you have Covid symptoms then isolate immediately and book a PCR test. If you have no symptoms, please continue to test twice a week with rapid Lateral Flow Tests which are available for free from pharmacies or can be delivered to your home,” added the council spokesperson.

Boardmasters brings over £42 million into the Cornish economy and this year raised £65,000 for the Boardmasters Foundation, which helps community causes.

“We are delighted to have been able to bring the joy of world class music and surfing back to Cornwall, as well as helping our suppliers, traders, staff and artists to return to the jobs they love.

“Once again, we’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who makes Boardmasters happen and most importantly to the festival goers who have made all the effort worthwhile. We can’t wait to welcome them back again in 2022,” added the festival spokesperson.

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