Chief Medical Officer says Aussie festivals won’t return until there is a vaccine

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer says festivals will be amongst the last social activities to return.

Even as restrictions ease, large-scale events won’t go ahead until there is a vaccine for COVID-19.

Large festivals won't return
Image: Splendour in the Grass 2019

Health experts say festivals and concerts are unlikely to return until a coronavirus vaccine is formulated, leaving the event industry in limbo.

It’s not looking encouraging for Splendour in the Grass, which was postponed until October this year in hopes the pandemic would have settled down by then.

Dr Brendan Murphy, the nation’s top doctor, says we can’t be sure the virus is eliminated until a vaccine is developed. He acknowledges it’s “very, very hard to bring a large outbreak under control” and advises against easing social distancing measures.

“Unless you’re absolutely, completely confident about your borders, your testing, your surveillance, you can’t relax a measure of distancing,” says Murphy, from his Canberra office.

“We certainly would not be contemplating large-scale gatherings. It’s hard for me to envisage reopening of nightclubs and big music festivals in the foreseeable future.”

More than 90 vaccines are currently being developed across the world, however, most researches still agree that it could take as long as a year to create one.

Medics in the US also suggest huge concerts are unlikely to return before 2021. Just 40% of American adults surveyed last week say they are willing to attend events before a vaccine is available.

Professor Murphy also says Australia and New Zealand are in a strong position because of their “hard and fast” approach to the pandemic. “Our goals are very much the same; to get transmission down to as low as possible,” he described. “And if we get rid of it, that would be great.”

In the meantime, check out this Minecraft version of Splendour In The Grass.