'Mild dose' | 

Chris de Burgh tested positive for Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated

“I chose to take a PCR test two days before leaving for Europe, just to be safe, and I was totally shocked it came back positive.”

Chris de Burgh performing in July in Cologne, Germany. Picture by Joshua Sammer

Niamh Horan

Chris de Burgh has hit out at decision-makers who have “overlooked and ignored” the music industry while large sporting events continue to get the green light.

The Lady in Red singer was speaking as he revealed he is the latest high profile figure to contract Covid-19 despite being fully-vaccinated.

De Burgh (72), who is recovering at home in Wicklow, said the uneven approach toward music and sport has left him dismayed.

“There are many thousands of talented and skilled professionals in this business whose abilities are being overlooked and ignored by the decision-makers who prefer to allow huge crowds into sporting events instead of concerts,” he said.

De Burgh, who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine three months ago, discovered he had “a mild dose” of the virus after he had a PCR test.

Although the European Covid Certificate allows EU citizens to travel without a test, he said: “I chose to take a PCR test two days before leaving for Europe, just to be safe, and I was totally shocked it came back positive .”

Government officials have been meeting this weekend to finalise a roadmap for reopening, with the capacity at outdoor events likely to be increased before September 20.

The phased return will begin with the vaccine pass being used for indoor events in theatres and elsewhere.

The limits on outdoor gatherings, which are 200 for small venues and 500 for those of more than 5,000 capacity — will be raised.

Justin Green, of the Event Industry Alliance , who is due to meet Taoiseach Micheál Martin tomorrow , said the industry is “pleading with the Government” not to “compound the hardship suffered by the sector” any longer.

He said supports must also remain in place to help the sector recover.

Revealing the impact of the pandemic on his own schedule, De Burgh said he has “had to postpone concerts and TV shows” in Europe as he was isolating.

“I’ll be picking them up again next week, with my new album The Legend of Robin Hood released on September 3 and concerts in Ireland in February 2022.”

He previously had to cancel shows in Dubai and Beirut, along with his solo European tour last summer and this summer.

Aslan frontman Christy Dignam, who performed at the Concert 4 Cancer in aid of the Marie Keating Foundation on Friday night, described the past 18 months as an “absolute nightmare”.

“We met a sound engineer last week in Limerick and he was really thin compared to what he used to be,” he said. “I asked if he was OK and he said, ‘I’ll be honest, Christy, there were times when we only had enough food for the kids’.”

Dignam, who has a gig planned at The Olympia in Dublin on September 16, will release his debut solo album, The Man Who Stayed Alive , in October.

He said he believed music was treated differently to sport as “GAA supporters were generally more inclined to have been Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael supporters."

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