Milford Oyster Festival to require vaccine or test for concert area

The Milford Oyster Festival will go on as scheduled Saturday, with proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test required for entry into the concert area.

The Milford Oyster Festival will go on as scheduled Saturday, with proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test required for entry into the concert area.

Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

MILFORD — Fans of live music will need to show proof of either full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before they are allowed entry Saturday to the 47th Annual Milford Oyster Festival’s concert pavilion at Fowler Field.

The festival will go on as scheduled, with some changes, according to publicity chair Michele DiBella. The mandate for vaccination or negative test proof applies only to the Fowler Field concert area, not to the other festival areas.

In addition to the vaccination or negative test mandate, DiBella said the amusement rides and children’s activity area at the Rotary Pavilion also will not be open because children under age 12 are not eligible to be vaccinated.

“That’s who usually attends these children’s activities. So out of caution, we have elected not to have children’s activities,” she said.

For entry into the concert area, officials are requiring those who are vaccinated to bring their vaccination card or a legible photo of the vaccination card on their phone. Those who are not vaccinated must bring printed or digital proof of a negative COVID test within the last 72 hours. There will be two tent locations at Fowler Field to receive a wristband for entry into the main stage concert area when one of the items of proof is presented.

According to the state data tracker, Milford is now in the orange alert zone, with 10-14 reported COVID-19 cases per day over the past two weeks. With new cases of COVID-19 rising at an accelerating rate, the city’s Health Department is urging residents to be vigilant in taking precautions to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 during large-scale gatherings, even outdoor ones, like the Oyster Festival.

They are advising that individuals going to the Milford Oyster Festival take precautions.

“Large events bring together multitudes of people from different households who may or may not be vaccinated to a common public space,” said Health Director Deepa Joseph in a written statement.

Those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have recently tested positive for COVID-19, or have pending COVID-19 tests should stay home and not attend the event. Additionally, those who have been instructed to quarantine due to close contact with someone who has tested positive case should follow the quarantine period and not attend the event.

Also, anyone with a weakened immune system or who lives with someone who has a weakened immune system should also avoid attending the event.

Those who do attend the Oyster Festival are asked to maintain social distance by staying six feet apart from people who are not part of their household.

Joseph also strongly urged people to wear a mask at the event due to Milford’s alert status and the current COVID transmission rate.

“While it will be outdoors, you will be in a crowded setting with high potential to be in close contact with others who may or may not be vaccinated,” she said.