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Crowds 'ignore social distancing' as they pack into dance tent at festival

Crowds of people have been pictured partying together in a tent at a one-day festival, ignoring social distancing rules put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

With the vast majority of festivals cancelled this summer due to the pandemic, La Fiesta at Colesdale Farm in Hertfordshire decided to go ahead on Sunday with measures in place to keep revellers safe. 

But pictures and footage have emerged from the sold-out event showing guests crowding together in a marquee to drink and dance. 

Afterwards many took to social media to say how much they enjoyed themselves. But others expressed concerns about the spread of the virus. 

One person said on Twitter: ‘This la fiesta thing is actually insane, like what am I seeing? At least 100 or more people squashed under a tent dancing. If one person has the ‘rona there they’re all gonna get it, then where are they gonna be? Probably serving you in the shops. It’s scary to see.’

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La Fiesta had been given the go ahead by Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Police. 

It had been due to take place the week before but was called off due to thunderstorms. The county’s director of public health, Jim McManus, has previously said they were working closely with the organisers. 

According to a Covid-19 statement posted on the festival’s website, outdoor social interactions between attendees ‘should be limited to a group of no more than two households of up to six people from different households.’ 

Organisers were keen to push their safety-first approach and explained to ticket-holders that they would keep a temporary record of all guests for 21 days, in case they needed to be contacted in the event of an outbreak. 

They also said that attendees would have their temperatures taken on arrival, with cleaning stations in position around the site and ‘strict safety measures’ in place.

Footage shared by the official Instagram account showed people watching a DJ on a big outdoor stage while sitting apart from others in a seating area. 

But the clips filmed inside the tent told a different story, with dozens of people shown crammed together, dancing at close quarters. 

Organisers are planning to hold another similar event next Sunday at the same location for the Bank Holiday weekend. 

Metro.co.uk has asked Hertfordshire County Council and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council for comment. 

Colesdale Farm has previously hosted events for 5,000 attendees, but it is unclear how many were at La Fiesta on Sunday.

Current Government advice says that large scale public events like festivals can go ahead but only if Covid secure guidelines are in place.

Hundreds of outdoor music events were cancelled this summer because organisers felt it was too risky to go ahead while the virus was still spreading. 

This has led to a rise in the number of illegal raves and parties taking place across the UK. 

Hertfordshire Police confirmed they were aware of La Fiesta and had worked to ‘ensure public safety.’

The festival organisers and Colesdale Farm have been contacted for comment.  

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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