New Covid rules for festivals less strict than experts advised
The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) advised stricter rules for allowing small, one-day festivals than the cabinet announced on Monday. The government decided not to adopt some of the advice because some of the measures were not feasible, caretaker Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said in a letter to parliament, NU.nl reports.
The OMT advised that Testing for Access test results must be no more than 24 hours old at the end of the event. According to the government, that is not realistic. For long events, this could mean people having to get tested at night, De Jonge said.
The cabinet also decided against implementing urgent advice to discourage festival attendees from singing along. De Jonge called this "not feasible and not enforceable".
The OMT also advised that artists should maintain social distancing from each other. But De Jonge pointed out that an exception was made for art and culture to these rules if social distancing prevents them from "performing these activities in an appropriate manner".
On Monday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that small, one-day festivals will be allowed again from August 14. Festivals can have a maximum of 750 attendees with no fixed seating. The festival must be outdoors, or in a tent with four open sides. Attendees must be vaccinated, recently recovered from Covid-19, or present a recent negative test result.
He also said that from that date, people who get the Janssen vaccine against Covid-19 will have to wait four weeks, instead of two, until they can get the vaccination certificate on their CoronaCheck app to attend events or travel abroad. The OMT advised this because the vaccine offers good protection against a mild infection after two weeks, but the protection against serious infection increases even further in the days thereafter.