Positive Covid tests have been found dumped outside Reading Festival site after it was attended by 90,000 fans over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Pictures show lateral flow tests with two lines – indicating a positive result – strewn on the ground where attendees began packing up to go home on Monday.
Festival-goers had to be double vaccinated or able to produce a negative lateral flow test on entry, and were then ordered to retake the test every 72 hours.
Many were young adults so had likely not received both jabs, but it is not yet known whether the positive tests were dumped by festival-goers or members of the public.
Some reports on social media claimed people who had attended the festival had recently tested positive for Covid, including others who said they had also seen positive test results lying on the floor at the Leeds festival site.
Experts fear the tens of thousands of revellers who headed out to festivals such as Reading and Leeds over the weekend will spark an uptick in infections over the next few weeks.
Other festivals have been linked to a massive surge in cases including Boardmasters in Cornwall, which health chiefs say triggered almost 5,000 infections.
Meanwhile, other scientists say England will face a ‘large’ spike in cases in the next two weeks after children return to the classroom.
Pictures show lateral flow tests with two lines – indicating a positive result – strewn on the ground where attendees began packing up to go home on Monday
Festival-goers had to be double vaccinated or able to produce a negative lateral flow test on entry, and were then ordered to take a lateral flow test every 72 hours
Other festivals including Boardmasters in Cornwall have been linked to Covid surges. Almost 5,000 cases were traced back to this festival by Public Health authorities. Above is a map showing infection rates across Cornwall in the week to August 14
Covid cases in Cornwall spiked after the Boardmasters festival took place between August 11-15, official data shows. But they have now started to fall again
Covid cases in Reading — where the latest festival took place — have remained steady in recent days. It takes up to a week for someone infected with the virus to start showing symptoms and get a positive test
Images shared on social media suggested that attendees had dumped positive lateral flow tests in the campsites and portable toilets in the festival grounds.
Videos on social networking site TikTok reportedly showed positive lateral flow tests dumped around the site.
More have been found on public roads leading away from the site.
Some were discovered alongside syringes on Caversham Road, where many festival-goers walk from the campsite to get to Reading town centre.
Festival-goer Ben said: ‘I’m not too fussed about getting it, but I don’t think my family would be too pleased about having to isolate.
‘I think it’s bad about the positive tests lying around but it’s to be expected really. If I tested positive I wouldn’t go home as we’ve spent so much money to get here.’
Meanwhile, one social media user posted: ‘Sore throat last day of Reading, thought due to camping rough, drinking etc.
‘Three negative lateral flows but still went for a PCR to be sure, bloody positive.
‘Highly recommend getting a PCR test done if you went to a festival even if you have no symptoms/negative lateral flows.’
Another wrote: ‘Bought a pair of wellies off Depop and the guy was at Reading Festival so said he’d send them once he got home. Fair. Now he’s messaged saying he’s tested positive for Covid. Shock.’
Some reports on social media claimed people who had attended the festival had recently tested positive for Covid, including others who said they had also seen positive test results lying on the floor at the Leeds festival site
Twitter users also reported fans at Leeds Festival contracting the virus, with one saying they know teenagers from three families who tested positive after returning from the event.
One attendee said: ‘I went to Leeds Festival and it was literally Covid central. Saw two positive lateral flow tests on the floor.
‘Typical toilet festivals not getting cleaned and I’ve just come back and tested positive. Maybe not a massive impact but it definitely would’ve spread the virus.’
Another person added: ‘That’s three families I know now whose teens have returned from the Leeds festival with Covid.
‘It was supposed to be a controlled event but self-reported lateral flow tests as a control or evidence of double vaccination aren’t good enough.’
It follows hundreds of tents lining at least six fields from corner to corner on Monday after the three-day event came to a close on Sunday.
It follows hundreds of tents lining at least six fields from corner to corner on Monday after the three-day event came to a close on Sunday
Abandoned tents are seen at the Reading Festival campsite after the event ended on Monday after three days of partying
The Association of Independent Festivals estimates 250,000 tents are left behind at festivals across the UK, the majority of which end up in landfill
Festival goers walk past tents at the Reading Festival at Richfield Avenue. Partied-out music lovers draped themselves in duvets and slung sleeping bags over their shoulders as they left Reading Festival on Monday morning following a weekend of fun
Mass departure: The festivalgoers carried their camping equipment and clothes along the banks of the Thames on Monday
In one patch seven tents appear to be laid out in a circle indicating a group had camped together and all decided to leave their gear.
Festival-goers finished off the weekend watching Post Malone on the main stage.
But it was left to the staff the next morning to tidy up the mess, with security having to grab bin bags to work as the ‘litter-picking staff were nowhere to be found’.
The rite-of-passage festival for students celebrating their final exams attracted tens of thousands this year with headliners including Stormzy and Liam Gallagher.
It comes after public health chiefs revealed 4,700 Covid cases had been linked to five-day music and surfing festival Boardmasters.
The event — held from August 11 to 15 — also required all ticket holders to show proof of double vaccination, natural immunity or a recent negative lateral flow test.
But after more than 50,000 people turned up for the event in Cornwall, the county became England’s Covid hotspot.
More than 1,000 people also tested positive for the virus after attending Latitude Festival in Suffolk, which took place at the end of July.
As many as 37,000 tickets were sold for the event, which was the first of its kind after lockdown rules were relaxed.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said at the time that the event showed ‘we can reintroduce mass sports and cultural events safely’.
Meanwhile, there are mounting fears that England will face a spike in Covid infections in the coming weeks after children return to the classroom.
Yesterday Britain recorded another 32,181 cases, up four per cent in a week. Infections in England fell by 10 per cent, however.
MailOnline has reached out to Festival Republic for comment.