St Helens residents urged to get tested ahead of Picnic in the Park Festival

People planning to attend the Picnic in the Park festival in Rainford this Saturday, June 12 are being urged to make sure they have a Covid-19 test before entering the site.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 9:15 am
Updated Thursday, 10th June 2021, 9:18 am
People planning to attend the Picnic in the Park festival in Rainford this Saturday are being urged to make sure they have a Covid-19 test before entering the site.
People planning to attend the Picnic in the Park festival in Rainford this Saturday are being urged to make sure they have a Covid-19 test before entering the site.

All those attending the event at Jubilee Recreation Ground in Rainford should take a symptom free test both before and after the event to help protect both themselves and others.

This includes testing within 36 hours of entering the site on Saturday and testing again on the Monday and Thursday after the event

This year’s Picnic in the Park Festival, rescheduled from the postponed event in 2020, will be headlined by From the Jam, the band featuring the former bassist of The Jam Bruce Foxton, as well as the Rag Tag Misfits and other acts.

To help festival goers get tested before this year’s event, St Helens Council will set up a mobile testing unit outside Rainford Village Hall on Friday. June 11, running from 1pm-6pm. This will provide instant testing facilities for fans 24 hours before the Festival begins on June 12.

Testing kits will also be distributed to visitors as they arrive on the day of the festival to take home with them to use. Attendees should then test two days and five days after the event. The event organisers have also put a range of additional measures in place on site to reduce the risk of spread of the virus.

Everyone arriving at the site is legally required to register their details with NHS Test and Trace to ensure they can be contacted in the event of a positive test from the site. This can be done by scanning the QR code on arrival using the NHS App on your phone or by registering your details manually on arrival at the site.

Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health at St Helens Borough Council, said “We want to take every step we can to make sure that visitors to this Saturday’s festival stay safe and are able to protect both themselves and other festival goers during and after the event.

“This is especially important at the moment as the number of covid-19 cases is increasing in St Helens and in most areas in the North West.

“To help everyone do this we will have a mobile testing van on site in the days leading up to the event and we would urge anyone who has not tested before leaving home on the day to use our facilities and get tested. It takes just a few minutes to get the result but it could make a big difference in terms of protecting you and other visitors.

“We would also urge everyone to make sure they test on the Monday and Thursday at home after the event to protect themselves and the local community

Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage said: “It is wonderful to see live events being able to take place again in the borough once again.

“We hope people will enjoy themselves and remember to stay safe. Getting tested before and after the festival is one important way you can protect both yourselves and others so do take those vital steps.”

Picnic in the Park Festival organiser, Phil Thomas, said “We have been working very hard with the help of St Helens Borough Council to ensure that all measures have been put in place to make the event as safe as possible for all those attending the event and for the residents of Rainford village.

“We urge all those attending to take the time to read the terms and conditions and Covid-19 updates on the website We have a fantastic line up of music planned and look forward to welcoming wristband holders at the event."

In addition to getting tested at the council’s mobile testing unit at the Festival site, fans can also collect home testing kits from any of the council’s additional local testing sites at Chester Lane Community Centre, Sutton Manor, and at St Mary’s Market in St Helens Town Centre.

They can be collected on any day between 10am to 3pm including Saturday and Sunday.

For further details on accessing the local test sites this weekend and on how to collect a free test kit visit who is currently self-isolating for whatever reason, should not attend the Festival, this includes;

If you or anyone in your household has recently returned from any country on the red or amber travel list in the last 10 days

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)

Someone in your household has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19

If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19

If you’ve been told you’ve been in contact with someone who tested positive by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app

Further details on safety guidelines in place for the festival are available by visiting the Picnic in the Park event website at you If you or anyone in your household has a high temperature, or a new, continuous cough or loss of sense of taste or smell, you should isolate and book a PCR test immediately.

The vaccination programme in St Helens Borough is being rolled out successfully and if you are eligible for a jab please take the opportunity. Being vaccinated reduces the risk of serious illness from Covid-19 by around 80 per cent. It can also help to significantly reduce the risk of passing Covid-19 on to others.

If you have any concerns about isolating and need support contact St Helens Together, where we can help with arranging things like food and medicine deliveries for you. Please call 01744 676767 for more details.