Darts: Alcohol-fueled crowd at World Darts Championship “should not be allowed”
The World Darts Championship, where 80,000 boisterous fans pack Alexandra Palace throughout the next fortnight, has been labeled “covid spreading on steroids,” by public health experts.
The costume party came to life yesterday with a capacity of 3,000 people for the first session, with customers with fine voices.
Similar numbers are expected to attend the 28 sessions through January 3.
But Professor Keith Neal, a public health expert at the University of Nottingham, said the event was too risky with the Omicron variant spreading so rapidly across the country, especially to London, and never should have have the green light with the fans present.
“I would tell the local authorities not to let this happen with a crowd,” said Professor Neal, of the University of Nottingham. ‘It’s ridiculous. People will travel by public transport.
“It’s the spread of covid on steroids. There is no concept of social distancing and they will not be wearing masks because they are drinking.
Costumes on Day 1 of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace
Public health experts have expressed concern over the spread of the Omicron Covid variant
Any concerns about Omicron were cast aside by fans on the London site yesterday, as Scooby Doo, Robin Hood, Santa and their companions in disguise were quickly in the thick of it.
The annual knee, famous for its feel-good atmosphere, is allowed to roll out with fans as part of the government’s Plan B measures.
Darts fans must produce an NHS Covid Pass at the entrance. This includes proof of full vaccination or a negative lateral flow test performed on the day of the event.
PDC organizers say all fans must show a Covid pass to enter the London site
WHAT FANS NEED TO ATTEND ALLY PALLY
Ticket holders must prove their Covid status by providing one of the following:
• Proof of complete vaccination
• Evidence of natural immunity based on a positive PCR test within 180 days of the event and after completion of the required self-isolation period
• Evidence of a negative NHS lateral flow test performed on the day of the event
The rules, which did not come into effect until Wednesday morning, following a spiteful vote in parliament on Tuesday night, do not apply to people under the age of 18.
They were developed in response to a “tidal wave” of infection caused by the Omicron variant.
Organizers, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), have warned fans that those who are unable to demonstrate their current Covid status will be turned away.
But Professor Neal said Covid’s assists would be a poor defense against the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of Covid.
“You need at least three doses of the vaccine for an effective Covid pass with Omicron,” he said.
PDC Chairman Eddie Hearn has insisted the show is safe and will continue even as the government tightens restrictions and fans are banned.
“We’re all used to it now as a business,” Eddie Hearn, who succeeded Father Barry as head of event organization, told The Sun last April.
“We will always follow government rules. We will ensure that it is a safe and friendly environment for our customers and we will adapt if necessary to any rule change.
People attending Alexandra Palace are asked to wear masks, except when eating or drinking
A spectator was dressed in Scooby Doo as he and others got into the disguises’ minds
“If we’re going to adapt to the circumstances – whether it’s distancing, putting on site masks or reducing crowds – we have the expertise to do it all.
“It would be a real shame because we missed it last year and it’s back in full force this year. Disguise is on the program.
Fans should always wear face coverings around the venue, and when seated, punters are only allowed to remove them while eating or drinking.
Those in attendance on Wednesday saw defending champion Gerwyn Price survive the fear of coming back from behind and beat Ritchie Edhouse 3-1 to advance to the third round.
The Welshman had won the title with a victory over Gary Anderson in the 2021 final, which was played behind closed doors in January.
Face coverings will help reduce the risk of spread among dart fans, said Professor Paul Hunter, an epidemiologist at the University of East Anglia.
But he admitted that his public health colleague Professor Neal was “probably right” in his assessment of the risk of Covid at the championships.
“This has the potential to be a big-ticket event,” said Professor Hunter. “Inside London right now, that’s where Omicron is quickly taking off. “
The scenes in Ally Pally, north London, contrast sharply with the rest of the capital, where people heed government advice and work from home, while avoiding social gatherings.
London’s roads were the quietest they have been during the morning rush hour, any day of the week, since the summer of today.
The level of congestion reported by TomTom in the capital between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. today was 49% – the lowest figure for this period since the end of the summer holidays on September 3, excluding mid-October.
And the chief medical officer today issued a new warning regarding the expected spike in infections, saying it was “entirely possible” that the number of daily admissions to the Covid-19 hospital in the latest wave could beat the peak of 4,583 in January. A big wave would also see the NHS facing huge staffing shortages as doctors and nurses fall ill or self-isolate.
Few commuters use London Waterloo station this morning as rail passenger numbers decline following the emergence of Omicron
A very quiet Oxford Street in London’s West End today, although this time of year is normally peak shopping season
LONDON – Westminster Bridge appears very quiet in the morning rush hour in London today as Brits stay at home
Professor Whitty – who warned last night that ‘all the things we know are wrong’ about Omicron – told MPs about the hospitalizations today: ‘I don’t want this to be seen because I say it to arrive at. I’m just saying there’s a range of possibilities, but certainly the peak of just over 4,500 – 4,583 to be exact – people admitted to the absolute peak …
“It’s possible, because it’s going to be very concentrated, that even though it’s softer, because it’s focused over a short period of time, you might end up with a higher number than going to. hospital in one day. It’s entirely possible. It may be less than that. But I’m just saying it’s definitely possible.
He added that there were two caveats – one being that people could stay in hospital for a shorter period of time because of their protection from a previous vaccination, and fewer people could go to intensive care. .