Festival (illustrative)
Festival (illustrative)iStock

Over 1,000 people contracted coronavirus at a Netherlands outdoor music festival billed as a coronavirus-safe event, CNBC reported.

This is the first time in Utrecht so many cases have been linked to a single event, the Daily Mail noted.

Attendance at the Verknipt Outdoor Festival was dependent on the presentation of a QR code which showed that the individual had recently tested negative for the virus, been vaccinated, or recovered from a COVID-19 infection. According to organizers, the event was carefully planned and controlled, but according to Utrecht's regional health board, 1,050 people contracted the virus at the event.

The festival, which was held earlier this month, was attended by approximately 20,000 people, including Utrecht’s Mayor Sharon Dijksma, over the course of two days.

According to the Daily Mail, masks and social distancing were not required at the event.

CNBC quoted Lennart van Trigt, a spokesman for the Utrecht health board, or GGD, as saying: "We cannot say that all these people were infected at the festival itself; it could also be possible that they've been infected while travelling to the festival or in the evening before going to the festival or having an after-party. So they're (the cases) all linked to the festival but we can’t 100% say they were infected at the festival."

Noting that the number is "staggering," he added: "We’ve found out now that this period is too long. We should have had a 24 hour [period], that would be a lot better because in 40 hours people can do a lot of things like visiting friends and going to bars and clubs. So in a period of 24 hours people can do less things and it’s safer."

CNBC noted that the Netherlands issues vaccine certificates immediately following the vaccination, instead of two weeks after the second dose, when immunity has already built up.

On Monday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his Health Minister Hugo de Jonge apologized for the government's "error of judgement" in deciding to lift restrictions too early.

As a result of the sharp rise in cases, the Dutch government has canceled all multi-day festivals and large events until August 14, the Daily Mail said.