More than 1,000 people were infected with COVID-19 after attending an outdoor concert in the Netherlands. The country recently lifted most restrictions before the outbreak occurred.
Organizers required either a QR code validating being vaccinated, a negative COVID-19 test or proof that the 20,000 attendants recently recovered from the virus. The 2-day Verknipt festival was held in Utrecht earlier this month.
“We cannot say that all these people were infected at the festival itself,” Utrecht’s regional health board spokesman Lennart van Trigt reportedly said. “It could also be possible that they’ve been infected while traveling to the festival or in the evening before going to the festival or having an after-party.”
Around 52,000 new cases were reported in the Netherlands last week, with only 8,200 new cases the previous week, which causes great concern. Most infections reportedly happened in clubs, bars, parties, and other nightlife activities with high numbers of patrons.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte apologized at the beginning of the week, admitting the country lifted some of its restrictions too soon.
“What we thought was possible in practice turned out to be wrong after all,” Rutte reportedly said on Monday. “We made an error of judgment there; we regret that and apologize for that.”