The future of music festivals in the UK has received a positive boost after the Health Secretary said the approval of a coronavirus vaccine will result in “a summer that everybody can enjoy”.
Matt Hancock’s comments came hours after the UK became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for widespread use.
British regulator The MHRA says the jab, which offers up to 95 per cent protection against Covid-19 illness, is safe for the start of a nationwide rollout next week.
It’s believed that immunisations could start within days for those most in need, including the vulnerable and elderly patients.
The UK has ordered 40million doses, which is enough to vaccinate 20million people.
Appearing on BBC Breakfast, Hancock said: “2020 has been just awful and 2021 is going to better. Help is on its way with its vaccine. We can now say that with certainty, as opposed to all the caveats that I usually have to put around that.”
The Killers headline Glastonbury 2019. Credit: Carolina Faruolo/NME
While warning that it could take time to roll out, Hancock said he’s confident that life will return to normal from the spring.
“We’re going to have a summer next year that everybody can enjoy. Between now and then we’ve got to hold our resolve. We passed the tiering arrangements through the Commons with a big majority last night. Let’s all respect the restrictions we have to live our lives in for now.”
Glastonbury is currently set to take place across the final weekend of June, while Reading & Leeds will return once more across the August Bank Holiday weekend. Headliners include Liam Gallagher, Stormzy and Queens Of The Stone Age.
It comes after the virus completely decimated the international festival scene in 2020, with Glastonbury shelving its 50th anniversary edition due to it.
“The testing is going so well now, there could be massive testing arrangements,” he said (via GlastoFestFeed).
Eavis’ comments on mass testing echo those made recently by Reading & Leeds boss Melvin Benn, who told NME last month 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”.