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Albanian gov approves rapid testing for Unum 2021

Unum Festival has secured permission from the Albanian government to use rapid Covid testing for next year’s edition, which organisers say will eliminate the need for social distancing.

The festival is scheduled to return to the beaches and forests of Shengjin on the Albanian Riviera between 3–7 June 2021 and is expecting between 8-10,000 people from local and international markets to attend.

According to Grego O’Halloran, director of Unum Festival, 100% of people attending the 2021 edition will be tested including attendees, artists, staff and volunteers on-site at the festival – a procedure which will extend to the partner hotels where guests are hosted, drivers and in-resort representatives.

The festival has partnered with UK company Swallow Events which offers the 15-minute Roche lateral flow test with 99.68% specificity for the rapid tests but is still developing “a fully robust” testing procedure with government-approved protocols and health and safety risk assessments.

“The advancing technology and accuracy of rapid tests will ensure you can enjoy the festival in the way it should be enjoyed”

The festival’s duration, plus the on-site/off-site factor, presents logistical challenges with consistent testing but organisers say the procedure will include multiple tests and verification/identification software prior to gaining access to the festival and again at the site’s entry points.

“The advancing technology and accuracy of rapid tests currently allows for results within 10-15 minutes, which is all that would be required to ensure you can enjoy the festival in the way it should be enjoyed,” says O’Halloran. “On top of that, vaccines will likely have arrived early next year so that plans for this small, perfectly formed festival are now well underway, all with the support and backing of the Albanian government.”

Blendi Klosi, Albania’s minister for tourism, says: “We are looking forward to the return of Unum Festival and events in general to Albania in 2021, which will operate in a safe and secure manner thanks to the coming vaccine and rapid testing solution.”

The festival has already announced a number of domestic and international artists for its second edition including Cap, Cesar Merveille, Digby, DJ Rease, Dyed Soudorom, Franco Cinelli, Hajdar Berisha and Seth Troxler.

Second release five-day passes are currently €139.


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