No Covid cases identified at pilot live events, Minister says

No Covid Cases Identified At Pilot Live Events, Minister Says
People watch James Vincent McMorrow on stage during Ireland's first major live gig since the pandemic, at Iveagh Gardens in Dublin on June 10th. Photo: PA
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No Covid-19 cases have been identified at pilot live events this month, the Minister of State for Sport has said.

Crowds ranging from 200 to more than 1,000 have gathered at various sporting and cultural events throughout June as part of the Government's reopening plan.

Two such events are taking place on Saturday, the Irish derby at the Curragh, Co Kildare, and a Christy Moore concert in Killarney, Co Kerry.

James Vincent McMorrow on stage during the first major live gig since the pandemic on June 10th. Photo: PA

Minister of State Jack Chambers said the numbers attending will be scaled up further over the coming months.

“I'm confident we can build on those measures now for July, and have a much bigger return of spectators with many matches happening across the months of July and August,” he told Newstalk radio.

“People will see that scaled-up ambition when we make announcements on that in the next week or so.”

UK trial results


Meanwhile, a British trial of how risky cultural and sporting events are for transmission of the coronavirus also found no substantial outbreaks of Covid, although the findings were based on a low number of test completions.

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The UK has conducted a pilot scheme to test audiences at live events from soccer matches to raves and concerts, some of them indoors, to see if they can be held with full crowds.

The researchers said in a report published on Friday that “no substantial outbreaks were identified by public health teams and their surveillance systems around any of the events.”

Across all the events, which were attended by more than 50,000 people, only 15 per cent of participants returned the two tests they were asked to do – before and after the event – and of them 28 positive cases were found.

Eleven of those cases were considered to have potentially been infected before the event they attended while the remaining 17 could have been infected at the event or afterwards, the researchers said.

They said the low proportion of people returning both tests meant the results should be interpreted with “extreme caution.” – Additional reporting: Reuters

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