No Vaccine, No Service | Dutch festival deemed superspreader | Still no insurance in the UK
No Vaccine, No Service
12:01am on Monday morning was a momentous day for England with all COVID restrictions being lifted. People were lined up around the block to gain entry into nightclubs that have been unable to open their doors for over a year. However, the free-for-all that ensued may be short-lived. While previous announcements by members of the government only suggested the use of COVID passports, new information indicates they will likely be required to gain admission into nightclubs, festivals and other large events in the very near future. For the time being, it has been stated that vaccination certificates, negative test results or proof of natural immunity will be accepted. The key words in that previous statement? “For the time being.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently made a statement about how crucial vaccinations will be to return to life as we once knew it. He said, "I should serve notice now that by the end of September – when all over 18s will have had the chance to be double jabbed – we are planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient."
Some event organizers and leaders in the nighttime industry are viewing this as yet another blow. Others feel adopting a method of verifying negative status is the responsible thing to do. Wherever you land on the issue, it’s probably time to start thinking about cost effective and efficient ways of verifying a negative COVID status to gain entry.
Dutch festival deemed superspreader
Last week we told you that there was a 500% surge in COVID cases in the Netherlands. One week later and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping.
The Verknipt festival that took place July 3-4 is being coined as a superspreader event. Over 1,000 of the 20,000 in attendance (more than 5%) have tested positive for the virus following the festival. Entrance to the event was only allowed after showing proof of a negative COVID test or full vaccination status. The hitch... test results up to 40 hours old were considered acceptable. Unfortunately, there’s no way to determine if the virus was spread at the festival itself, at one of the countless pre-parties or after-parties affiliated with the festival or elsewhere.
According to Lennart van Trigt of the Utrecht health board, “In 40 hours, people can do a lot of things like visiting friends and going to bars and clubs.” Additionally, COVID passes were being issued immediately upon receiving the second shot of the vaccine and the 2 week waiting period was not taken into account. This result is devastating not only for festivals scheduled to take place in the Netherlands but it could have cancellations pouring in from around the world.
Still no insurance in the UK
Let’s jump back over to the UK. The battle for a government backed insurance scheme is still raging on...big surprise.
Several weeks ago the industry was celebrating an announcement that the UK government was expected to develop an insurance scheme to protect event organizers against the threat of cancellations due to COVID. The industry has reopened and COVID is running rampant and there’s still no word on when (or if) the government plans to step in. Now, 13 of the leading live music associations have teamed up and requested more information from the government regarding the date they can expect to have COVID cover.
Many major festivals have already canceled this summer, including the one-day music event that was going to be produced by the Glastonbury festival organizers. No specific reason behind the cancellation was specified, only that they “decided not to go ahead with the September gig idea for a number of reasons.” It’s a safe assumption that the lack of financial support if a cancellation due to COVID becomes imminent was one of the contributing factors.