Scores of Glastonbury revellers test positive for COVID as experts warn of fifth wave

·3-min read

A number of Glastonbury Festival revellers have reported testing positive for COVID-19 in the days after the music event.

An estimated 200,000 music fans flocked to Worthy Farm in east Somerset for the 37th iteration of Glastonbury last week.

Crowds gathered to watch headliners Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar along with scores of other artists for the world's biggest outdoor festival.

Following three years of cancellations due to COVID restrictions, tens of thousands of music fans did not hold back as they soaked up their favourite artists, shoulder to shoulder with other fans.

But the fun was soon over after many revellers took to Twitter to report bringing COVID-19 home with them.

The Times' science reporter and religious affairs correspondent was one of them. Kaya Burgess tweeted: "I had a wonderful time at Glastonbury. Its magic is undimmed. Though I brought home a rather unwelcome memento... Had avoided Covid for 2½ years.

"And all it took to catch it was cramming shoulder-to-shoulder into fields with 200,000 other people. Who'd have thought it."

Another Twitter user called Alice wrote: "It finally got me! I have a positive line on a covid test. To be expected after having the time of my life at Glastonbury, hugging everyone I know. Better than catching it in a bloody office. I'm stuck in bed and can't manage tv. No appetite. Forgetting to feed the furries."

GP trainee Katy Stevenson tweeted: "returning from Glastonbury 2022 with a dirt tan, heart full of hope and a head full of COVID".

Watch: COVID infections rise in all four UK nations as about 1.7 million had virus last week

And Sarah Merrick wrote: "Half my Glastonbury gang have tested positive for covid this evening, including my partner. I'm not feeling great either but am still testing negative."

In the run-up to the festival, a COVID policy was posted on the official Glastonbury website detailing a number of measures that it recommended that festivalgoers take.

It advised anyone who had a respiratory infection to "try to stay at home" and recommended that people take face masks with them to Worthy Farm.

And those who tested positive for the virus while at the festival were urged to "try to isolate and avoid contact with other people".

All domestic COVID restrictions, including the measure to isolate after a positive test, were removed by the government in February.

It comes as some experts including Professor Tim Spector, of the ZOE COVID symptom study app, said the fifth wave of coronavirus has already started.

"We're in a wave at the moment," he told The Independent, "heading towards a quarter of a million cases a day, that's a wave already."

Prof Spector added that summer events could "potentially have a big effect" on COVID rates.

"Events like Glastonbury will drive up cases but the question is how much do they account for," he said.

"We've relaxed everything most people don't think there's a COVID problem at the moment, most people don't wear masks, or even worry about cold-like symptoms."

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