We have been continuing to monitor the situation with Covid-19. The recent Government announcement that the next stage of easing of the lockdown had been postponed coupled with reports that increasingly suggest school re-opening may cause difficulties and, possibly. another national lockdown gave us cause for concern about the viability of our event. This concern was further increased by Northampton being designated as an ‘area of concern’ and Northampton Borough Council, who are our partners in promoting this event, issuing advice to avoid gatherings of more than 30 people, not to car share and to avoid public transport.
Our plans had been to provide the maximum protection that we could to both volunteers and visitors. These precautions included limiting the number of passengers per bus, only loading immediately before departure with a loading and unloading procedure, passengers hand sanitising and wearing masks or face-coverings, cleaning of vehicles between trips and possibly taking contact telephone numbers for those travelling on each trip. However, limiting passenger numbers and loading immediately before departure would be likely to lead to the formation of queues which could be likened a ‘gathering’ and could make social distancing difficult. Obviously, the trips would be no different to using public transport. Both of these outcomes go against the directives and advice now given by the Council to avoid the possibility of a local lockdown.
The Committee have been discussing the situation at length over the last few days and consulted with our Council partners. It has been agreed that, given the current measures and guidance already in place and the uncertainty of what may happen in the next few weeks, it would not be responsible to continue with the event. It is with great regret that we must therefore announce that the event is CANCELLED. We hope you will appreciate that our decision is based on concern to keep you and our local community safe and thank you for your understanding at this difficult time. We intend to be back ‘Bigger and Better’ next year.
Please check for details of our future events (when we are able to resume normal activities) on our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/NTHeritage/ or website at: https://ntheritage.org/
Malcolm
Events Officer
8 August 2020