Music fans in St Helens Borough planning to attend the Reminisce Festival in Sherdley Park this weekend (Saturday September 11th) are being encouraged to take extra precautions to keep themselves Covid safe both before and after the event.
This follows a recent sharp increase in the number of cases linked to several festivals and events across the country in recent weeks.
In St Helens Borough, the latest Coronavirus figures from Public Health England for the week ending September 2nd showed overall infection rates at 302 per 100,000 with 546 new cases confirmed.
This included 134 new cases in people aged between 30 and 44, which accounted for a quarter of all new cases in the borough during the period.
In addition 67 people were hospitalised with Covid -19 during the period up to September 8th, with several cases involving patients aged under 45.
With case numbers high in the borough, anyone planning to visit the Reminisce Festival this weekend is being advised to use extra safety measures before during and afterwards. These include the following:
- Make sure you do a symptom free Covid -19 lateral flow test no more than 24 hours before the event and again two days and five days afterwards.
- Wear face masks if you are using public transport to travel to and from the event
- Taking extra rain proof clothing if there is bad weather. This will avoid the need to move into more congested sheltered or indoor areas at the Festival site.
- If you do move into sheltered or indoor areas, wear a face mask where possible.
- Avoid mixing with groups outside your own immediate party if possible
Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage said: “There have been a number of high live music events across the country in recent weeks and it is already becoming clear that in some cases a significant number of new Covid infections have emerged afterwards amongst those who attended.
“While we obviously want people to enjoy events like the Reminisce Festival this weekend, it’s important to take precautions and stay safe. The risk of either contracting or transmitting the virus either before, during or after an event remains high even if you are vaccinated.
“If we are to prevent infections rising in the borough, it’s important that we don’t expose both ourselves and others to additional risk so do please take the extra precautions we have highlighted.”
Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health at St Helens Borough Council, said: “We certainly welcome the return of live events like Reminisce but would urge festival goers to be cautious and think about protecting themselves and others.
“Even if you are fully vaccinated It is vital that you test before and after travelling to the event if you can. You can be infectious for two days before symptoms develop or show no symptoms at all, yet still pass on the virus to many others without even knowing.”
“In addition if you are using public transport to reach the event, we encourage you to wear a mask if possible open windows for ventilation if safe to do so”.
If you planning to attend the festival you should look to test within 24 hours of the event and then test again two days and five days afterwards.
Anyone who is currently self-isolating for whatever reason, should not attend either this or other live events in the borough. This includes;
- If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, or a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
- Someone in your household has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19
- If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19
- If you’ve been told you’ve been in contact with someone who tested positive by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app (changes may apply to this from the 16th of August)
Testing kits are available to use for free. You can order a pack of lateral flow tests at https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests or collect test kits locally https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/
You should also register your results so we know who has been tested and where rates are at the highest and lowest. You can register your results via the following link: https://bit.ly/3k15CdW
If you test positive you should book a PCR test as soon as possible to confirm the result.
A spokesperson for the Reminisce Festival said: “Reminisce would like to remind customers that whilst many Covid restrictions have been lifted, we recommend that attendees take a Covid test within 24 hours prior to attending, wear a face covering where possible, drink responsibly to maintain awareness and respect other people’s space.
“It is down to us all as individuals to take responsibility and help minimise the risk of spreading Covid, during a time when cases are on a rapid rise. Anyone with symptoms or testing positive for Coronavirus must not attend the event.”