Bristol mayor urges Tokyo World festival-goers to take Covid test before attending

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees
Bristol's Mayor, Marvin Rees, wants partygoers to be sensible to limit the spread of covid at Tokyo World

Bristol's mayor says he is concerned about coronavirus spreading at this weekend's Tokyo World and is urging those going to take a test.

Marvin Rees said just days before the event kicks off that the music festival is a cause for "concern", and added, "anything that creates the conditions for Covid to spread amongst the population is a concern."

Speaking at his bi-monthly press conference on Wednesday 15 September, the Labour politician said his advice for those going is to "act in-line with the Covid-safe behaviours as much as possible."

The sold-out festival begins on Saturday 18 September in the city's Eastville park and takes place across the weekend.

Those going must show either a negative lateral flow test, be fully vaccinated against coronavirus, or be able to prove they recently tested positive for the virus and have since recovered - giving them natural immunity.

Speaking about the event, Mr Rees said: "It is [concerning], but what we need to do is continually reach out to people, support event organisers themselves to create Covid-secure environments as well, so they're managing the people as best as possible.

"[That's] so it's not just down to individual behaviour and individual decision, it's down to the kind of spaces we create for people as well.

"So, all that will be in play this weekend and they [the festival organisers] will have been on the receiving end of lots of support and advice from our public health team," he added.

But breaking into a smile, Mr Rees also joked that "I'll let you into a secret: being a mayor is a constant state of concern - because everything is a challenge."

Marvin Rees is concerned about the festival, but joked that "being a mayor is a constant state of concern."

'Rapid test before, rapid test after'

Giving advice on how those going should stay safe, the mayor said: "Our director of public health said very early doors one of the best things we can do is make sure people understand the principles of transmission.

"It's person to person, it's personal physical contact - it's through droplets and aerosols. So, if you can keep your distance as much as possible, that will minimise the amount of risk you're exposing yourself to.

"If you can make sure you are being tested as well, so that you are knowing your own status, make sure you're rapid testing before, rapid testing afterwards.

"And if you have any symptoms, then do the right things by your friends and people who you don't know, but will be there and don't attend.