Risk of contracting coronavirus is the same at Grand Prix as at a festival, experts say
The coronavirus infection risk is similar at the Grand Prix in Zandvoort as it would be at a festival, experts told NU.nl.
The Grand Prix in Zandvoort will commence in September with camping spots available for attendees. The camping site will be able to accommodate around five thousand people. Half of the spots are reserved for the crew. In total, more than 200 thousand spectators have been anticipated at the races.
“The manner in which you organize the Grand Prix is similar to how you would organize a festival”, field epidemiologist, Amrish Baidjoe said. “When looking at from a standpoint of preventing infection, I do not see a difference.”
The fact that camping at the Grand Prix is permitted but multi-day festivals have been forbidden is not comprehensible to the events sector.
Clinical epidemiologist Frits Rosendaal from the UMC in Leiden also did not see what sets the GP apart from a multi-day festival. “The point stands that the Grand Prix is a multi-day event where a large number of people partake.”
Zandvoort mayor David Moolenburgh said on Friday that camping at the Grand Prix cannot be compared to a festival. At a festival, the vast majority of the public also sleeps on the grounds. This is a relatively small campsite compared to the number of visitors," the mayor said.
The mayor said he comprehends why the decision sparked disbelief in the events sector “but that is a consequence of the choices they make in The Hague.”
In accordance with coronavirus measures, only two thirds of the seats are allowed to be filled and all visitors have to show proof of vaccination, recent recovery from a Covid-19 infection or show a negative coronavirus test to enter.
More spectators are allowed at the Grand Prix than at a festival because during the races there is fixed seating. At festivals, a maximum number of 750 people are allowed.
“For now it is incomprehensible”, Baidjoe said. “We see that certain groups are not yet fully vaccinated. I would say: wait until the vaccination figures are higher.”