Cirencester’s annual October Mop fair has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The fair, which was due to take place in the town centre on October 5 and 12 will not take place this year, Cirencester Town Council has confirmed.
The difficult decision was made at the town council’s community services group meeting on Thursday.
With the Cotswolds still in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and recent government advice, it was felt that the risk to the public’s health and well-being is far too high for the events to go ahead.
Councillors agreed that it would be difficult to judge how public attendance at the event could be managed, especially given that the fairs attract large crowds.
Recent government and Public Health England advice was considered and councillors decided to halt preparations after hearing that similar fairs at Tewkesbury, Marlborough and Oxfordshire and elsewhere have been cancelled for autumn 2020.
Cllr Gary Selwyn, lead member for community services said he was disappointed that one of the town’s biggest events had been cancelled but said he supported the decision.
He said: “With Cirencester’s relatively narrow streets, pavements, and alleyways being crowded with people, we couldn’t ensure social distancing and there would be a risk of spreading the coronavirus.”
He added that with visitors coming from other places, such as Cheltenham, Gloucester and Swindon, the danger was that the virus could be spread elsewhere too.
In order to maintain the Charter arrangements, a child’s ride will be located on the Market Place for one hour on Monday, October 5, and Monday, October 12.
Planned road closures will be lifted and the Monday Charter Market remains cancelled for both days.