Following the news that York’s Christmas market has been cancelled, the council tonight sought to clarify which events are still on, and which have been called off.
New criteria have been drawn up to ensure public health recommendations are met.
York’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG) is using these to decide whether events should be cancelled, or can go ahead with specific health measures in place.
A City of York Council spokesperson said: “Events that draw significant numbers of people to a single location and at set times will unfortunately not be permitted to take place, in order to curb the spread of the virus and ultimately, protect local residents.
“However, events that are outdoors, spread across a larger area and encourage people to visit at different times, rather than for set performances, are more likely to be supported by the Safety Advisory Group.”
What’s on and off
- Light and Dark – the Light and Dark experience and Indie York’s Magical Medieval Trails will go ahead as planned during October half term, as this experience has been designed to encourage family groups to move safely around the city.
- Halloween – Trick or treating guidance will be available from the government and we will share it when published. For now, you should plan events within households or bubbles only.
- Bonfire Night – SAG have confirmed the event planned for Elvington Airfield will go ahead, as it is a drive through event only. Residents are advised to keep to the rule of six and maintain a safe distance if outside.
- Hanukkah – central government will be providing advice, for now you should plan events within the rule of six, or with households or bubbles only. Consider outdoor celebrations where you can.
- Diwali – central government will be providing advice, for now you should plan events within the rule of six, or with households or bubbles only. Consider outdoor celebrations where you can.
- Remembrance Day – to avoid people gathering for prolonged periods of time, the parades, including in the city centre, will not take place. Partners, including civic leaders, are working closely together to deliver an appropriate remembrance service, in partnership with York Minster. This will include an online service and reflection with everyone invited to take part. More information will follow.
- Christmas Market / St Nicholas Fair – following other cities (such as Lincoln, Bath and Leeds) and new public health guidance, the Christmas Market will not go ahead.
York’s public health director Sharon Stoltz said: “By sharing the criteria which informs our approach, we are encouraging residents to think differently about how they celebrate key moments in our autumn calendar.
“You are very unlikely to catch the virus in restaurants and shops, and more likely to catch it through social interaction in uncontrolled premises, like homes or during events where lots of people gather.
“Protecting our loved ones, their health and their livelihoods, is of paramount importance and we are asking the city to join us in helping do all we can to keep the people we love safe by celebrating safely.”
She said if the cases in York reduces considerably, “we will of course revisit how we can celebrate events in the city”.
Executive member for economy and strategic planning Andrew Waller said: “In order to protect our city, its many incredible businesses and the livelihoods of our friends, neighbours and families, we must slow the spread of this virus. We must do all we can to protect the people we love.
“Although many of our city-wide celebrations and commemorations will be different this year, the city will still be a welcoming, safe and festive space for people to enjoy.
“Changing the way we celebrate is one of the many challenges this year has presented us, but it is also a way in which we can maintain the health and safety of others.”