Coronavirus in Portsmouth: Popular St Mary's May Fayre postponed 'with regret' over Covid rules

CHURCH leaders in Portsmouth have postponed a rescheduled St Mary’s May Fayre over uncertainty on Covid rules for large-scale events in summer.

Saturday, 24th April 2021, 1:18 pm

Revd Canon Bob White, vicar of St Mary’s Church in Fratton, said the committee running the popular event due to take place on August 14 had been reviewing the situation but were ‘unclear’ on future rules.

The government’s roadmap indicates all legal limits on social contact will be lifted by June 21.

But the senior clergyman said people who attend ‘could’ need to have proof they are Covid negative via a lateral flow test.

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St Mary's Church in Fratton, held their May Fayre on bank holiday Monday, May 6 in 2019. Picture: Sarah Standing (060519-8237)

He said: ‘While it is still unclear what the final guidance and regulations will be, it seems likely that there could be some form of requiring those who attend to have evidence of a recent negative lateral flow test.

‘Likewise social distancing or managing of crowd flow may also be suggested.

‘It is with regret that we have to acknowledge that due to the scale of the this event, and the people who manage the entrances are all local volunteers we would be unable to meet many such requirements.

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‘Our first priority has to be to ensure that we provide a safe event for the local community, for all who attend and for our own volunteers.

‘We are not confident we will be able to do this so are postponing the event once more to Monday, May 2, 2022.

‘We very much hope that this will be possible and that we will welcome you back to this great celebration of local life.’

Smaller-scale events are due to take place inside the church on August 14 with a controlled on-way system.

On August 15 there will be a community picnic requiring pre-booking in the churchyard.

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