Boost for music festivals as first rapid testing programme is officially approved

Glastonbury 2019 crowd

The future of music festivals has been given a boost after the first rapid testing programme was officially announced.

Designed specifically for the events industry in conjunction with Swallow Events, the rapid 15-minute turn around test is the first to be approved by Public Health England.

Oli Thomas, founder and managing director of Swallow Events said: “The events industry has been forgotten and devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are very proud to announce we are the first events company in the UK to offer an on-site rapid testing service for COVID-19 in as little as 15 minutes, which, we believe, is a complete game-changer.

Coronavirus Test Kit
Coronavirus Test Kit Credit: Press

“Our rapid testing kits – a market leader (which meets MHRA target product profile with sensitivity: 96,52% & specificity: 99,68%) used in conjunction with track and trace data-collection and other Covid secure protocols such as touch point and temperature checks will help event organisers in all sectors from large scale festivals, concerts, stadia, business conferences and trade shows through to agricultural shows and small boutique festivals.

“It will kick start a £39.1 billion contributing sector to the UK’s economy whilst helping to protect over 570,000 full-time jobs which are rapidly disappearing.”

It comes after Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis previously said that “massive testing arrangements” could be put in place at next year’s Glastonbury Festival.

Eavis’ comments on mass testing echoed those made recently by Reading & Leeds boss Melvin Benn, who told NME that he was confident that, in regards to R&L 2021, “we don’t need a vaccination because we can work through the problem with a really good testing regime”.

Earlier this week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock also spoke of rolling out a vaccination programme in the coming months after the results of a large-scale trial of a COVID-19 vaccine, suggesting that life will begin to return to normal after Easter 2021.

If successful, the immunisation programme could potentially pave the way for a full summer of music festivals – including Glastonbury & Reading & Leeds.

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