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Safer to meet ‘200 friends in a field’ than 20 indoors, says expert

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A public health expert has told young people “if you are going to do mad stuff do it outside”.

Anthony Staines, professor of public health systems at Dublin City University, said it was “much safer to have 200 of your friends in a field than 20 of your friends back in your house”.

A study published in the British Medical Journal in July found the chances of people getting Covid-19 in an indoor environment were more than 18 times higher than in an outdoor setting.

Footage emerged online on Saturday night of an outdoor rave in the Oliver Bond apartment complex in Dublin attended by up to 100 young people which was eventually broken up by gardaí.

Separately, Meath farmer Darragh McCullough said he was astonished to find the remnants of a rave which has held in one of his fields on Saturday night without his permission.

The rave was hosted by a number of Brazilian people who live in Dublin. Mr McCullough estimated there was at least 100 people in attendance.

“I am not too worried about them,” Prof Staines told RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live Show though he condemned the antisocial nature of what happened.

“I think the behaviour of the people around the Oliver Bond flats was disgraceful and they caused chaos,” he said.

“The rave in Meath, the farmer commented that they cleaned the place immaculately before they left.

“I am not endorsing what they did, but if you want to do mad stuff, do it outside because it is much safer.”

Dublin-based GP Maitiu O’Tuathail said he agreed with Prof Staines that people were significantly more likely to get Covid-19 indoors than outdoors.

“The indoors are where the vast majority of outbreaks and clusters happen. That’s very clear.

“I would ask people to put the interests of others before their own for the foreseeable future, but we do need to come up with a liveable solution and the risk outdoors is significantly reduced,” Dr O’Tuathail said.

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