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Gloucestershire Business News

Tewkesbury Mop Fair falls victim to coronavirus

Tewkesbury's Mop Fair has become the latest annual event to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Licensee James Danter, whose family run the event on October 9-10 each year, has been working with Tewkesbury Borough Council on ways to run the fair with social distancing guidelines.

But the high volume of people in a condensed area with multiple access points made social distancing and the requisite track and trace unviable.

Mr Danter said "Cancelling this year's event was a heartbreaking decision, but it's the right thing to do.

"We've worked hard over the years to make the Mop Fair a big family event, where people from all over Gloucestershire can gather for fun and entertainment.

"Sadly, with the crowds we're expecting, it would be impossible to achieve the safety measures needed to be COVIS-secure.

"We look forward to next year when, all being well, the Mop Fair will be back."

The fair dates back more than 800 years and takes place on the same date unless it falls on a Sunday.

Councillor Robert Vines, lead member for asset management, said: "The Mop Fair is such a popular event - it sees people return year after year to experience all it has to offer, so I know many people will be disappointed to hear that it won't take place this year.

But keeping the operators, visitors and local people as safe as possible, avoiding a second wave of the virus and more lockdown measures, must take priority.

"I look forward to the return of the Mop Fair next year when, hopefully, it can be the kind of event that everyone knows and loves."

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