‘Allow kids’ parties to go ahead within class bubbles’ – that’s the plea from entertainers who say their businesses have been ‘decimated’.
Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling for the Government to update its rules to birthday celebrations.
The petition reads: “If the exact same children in a class bubble can see each daily, why can’t the same children attend a birthday party in a Covid secure venue?
“Playgroups are allowed to run, where children are not in bubbles. Why can the children’s party, an industry worth over half a billion pounds every years, not continue?”
Bristol entertainer John Griffin, who runs Johnny G children’s party entertainer, says his livelihood has been destroyed since March, and he now has to work as a part time driver.
“All the way through lockdown I thought ‘come September the bookings would start again.” said the 55-year-old. “As we came out of lockdown, the bookings tentatively started again and I thought ‘I’m going to be alright’.
“But now with all the new measures, the bookings have been cancelled.
“It doesn’t really make any sense to me – how can it be unsafe for kids who are together all week to go to a party together?
“All the parties I run tend to only have kids and some of their siblings, who they would be mixing with anyway.
“My business has been decimated this year – the rug has been pulled from out of my feet.”
While Tommy Balaam, who runs Captain Fantastic that has franchises in Gloucester and Bristol, said his business has lost almost £50,000 this year.
“We are just asking to be able to work in a Covid safe way,” said the 33-year-old. “These kids are already in the same bubbles.
“Over lockdown we ran virtual parties but then everyone started getting bored of Zoom.
“Then social distancing came in and we were able to start putting on some events again. It felt really safe, we social distanced and wore face masks, most parents wore face masks.
“Then the ‘rule of six’ came in and everything had to shutdown again.
“Lots of entertainers are now doing other jobs -these are talented magicians and they can’t work.
“I’ve had no financial support. I lost £30,000 to £40,000 during the first lockdown and then £10,000 when the ‘rule of six’ came in.
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“It’s been headache after headache
“It’s the kids who are really missing out. Everyone is wearing masks all the time, they can’t see their friends.”
To sign the petition, click here.