South London council tries to ease fears of Covid cases spiking after massive festivals

Festivals in Morden Park this weekend must be Covid-safe, the council’s coronavirus lead has said.

Up to 10,000 people a day are expected to attended Beautiful People and Southbound festivals at the park this weekend.

Barry Causer, Merton Council’s Covid resilience boss said measures have been put in place by organisers Slammin Events.

At a meeting on Wednesday (September 1), Councillor Helena Dollimore said: “There has been some concern nationally about large gatherings of young people, I say this as a young person myself, I am conscious that this very weekend we have a music festival in Morden Park aimed at a slightly older age group but a large gathering nonetheless.

“I am keen to understand how we’re approaching that as a borough both in how people stay safe at those events and our community staying safe.”

Mr Causer said the council’s public health team has been working with the organiser of the festivals.

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Festival goers will have to show a Covid pass which either confirms they have had two vaccination jabs or a negative rapid test within 48 hours of the event.

Mr Causer added: “We’ve seen the communications and messages going out to ticket holders and they are very clear that you must have one of those to go into the event.

“If someone for whatever reason isn’t able to do so the organisers are setting up the facility for people to get tested on site before the enter the ticketed area. If that test came back positive they would be asked to leave the site and return home.”

Both festivals have issued the same Covid-19 statement on their websites.

It says: “After consultation with Merton Council and Public Health England, it has been agreed that in order to make [the festival] as safe as possible for all attendees, staff, artists and the local community, we will require anyone entering the event to present one of the following.”

It goes on to list a proof of negative lateral flow test on the NHS Covid app or NHS email result and proof of vaccination either on the same app or EU Covid passport. It added that the Covid vaccine cards won’t be accepted as proof.

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