Published: Friday, 19th February 2021

Medway’s spring festivals and events will not go ahead this year amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Government restrictions on mass gatherings remain in place, with social distancing requirements anticipated for some time while the roll-out of the vaccine continues.  

We have cancelled The English Festival, which would have been held in April, and May’s Rochester Sweeps Festival. Both events would usually attract large crowds of thousands of residents and visitors from outside of Medway, making social distancing almost impossible. There are currently no plans to reschedule these events.

Future events beyond the end of May 2021 will be kept under review by the council, as the government announces more information about its roadmap for recovery.

Protecting the health and well-being of our residents and staff

Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “I know this will be disappointing news to many, but it’s important we continue to take measures to protect the health and well-being of our residents and staff. We are continuing to closely monitor government guidance and review other scheduled events planned for the year ahead.”

In the meantime, we are reminding other potential event organisers to think carefully before going ahead with plans for public gatherings and encouraging them not to jeopardise the wellbeing of the public.

Event organisers have a legal responsibility to ensure the necessary plans are in place to help keep the public safe. For advice and guidance when organising an event, contact the Medway Safety Advisory Group.

Cllr Doe added: “We know how much everyone is looking forward to getting back to some sense of normality, but we would urge people to take caution to ensure Medway’s case rate does not rocket again. If you were thinking about organising or attending a spring event, such as a public Easter egg hunt, then please think again. The virus is still living amongst us and even those who have been vaccinated are at risk of spreading it to others. We are not out of the woods yet and everyone should continue to play their part to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, as well as protect our NHS.”

We are working closely with Kent Police to offer guidance and advice to the public, including businesses, about the government restrictions and will not hesitate to issue fines to those caught breaking them.

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