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We Are 500 told to close this weekend following rise in Covid 19 figures

Published: Thursday, 17 September 2020

Havering Council has decided to prevent the upcoming We Are 500 events in light of increasing coronavirus infection rates in the borough.

This means that the events due to go ahead between 17 September and 5 October 2020 will not take place. 

The council notified the event organisers setting out the key reasons why this decision was made.

  1. That there is a serious and imminent threat to public health.
  2. That the direction is necessary for the purpose of preventing, protecting against, controlling or providing a public health response to the incidence or spread of infection by coronavirus in the local authority’s area.
  3. The prohibitions, requirements or restrictions imposed by the direction are a proportionate means of achieving that purpose. 

Mark Ansell, Havering Councils Director of Public Health said:

“We have got to the point that tough decisions have to be made to ensure that we stop the spread of Coronavirus.

"We have kept this and other events under constant review during the backdrop of a national and local increase in infection rates.

"I must be clear that the festival was well-run and I commend the work and intentions of the organisers. However, we must put public health first.

"With ticket holders attending from all over the UK and potentially either bringing or taking with them infections, I can’t be assured that the events will not undermine the efforts going on across the country to contain this virus.

"I apologise to those ticket holders who are inconvenienced as a result of this decision.”

Councillor Damian White, the Leader of Havering Council, said:

“It is with regret we need to make this decision, but the increase in infection rates leaves us with no choice. I urge people who have booked travel or accommodation in the borough specifically for this event not to travel to the borough.

"While we look forward to the day when the pandemic comes to an end and we can once again enjoy our lives, we need to take decisions such as this to keep residents and people visiting our borough safe.”