Following Government restrictions relating to the coronavirus, and to keep people as safe as possible in the city, Sheffield City Council has today cancelled or postponed all council run events, due to take place between now and the end of May.
The city boasts a huge annual events programme, with many events and activities attracting thousands of people, which presents high risk in relation to the spread of the current coronavirus outbreak.
Many events across the UK have already been cancelled or postponed by organisers after the Government advised against mass gatherings and recommended social distancing on Monday.
The Sheffield Half Marathon is postponed until September, all remaining events as part of the Festival of the Outdoors have been cancelled and organisations such as Sheffield Theatres, SIV and Museums Sheffield have closed all venues.
Sheffield City Council has worked closely with all joint organisers and taken the decision that all events in its control will not go ahead as planned up to the end of May. This includes events such as The Highland Fling at Graves Park and Weston May Fayre at Weston Park.
Traders who have paid to take part in council run events will be fully refunded.
Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council said: “It is regrettable that we have to cancel so many of these fantastic events, but we really have no other option. The safety of our residents, staff and those organising and running events, and our responsibility to limit the spread of coronavirus is our top priority.
“Wherever possible we are postponing rather than cancelling events so that people can enjoy them at a later date, but this is not always possible, and as it’s such a fast-moving situation there are no guarantees about dates in the future.
“I know that this is a very worrying time for everyone and it is having a huge impact on our leisure, hospitality and entertainment industries so we have not taken this decision lightly. I’d like to thank everyone for their efforts in keeping the city going and for all the support Sheffielders are giving to each other.”
Greg Fell, Director of Public Health in Sheffield said: “I understand that this is disappointing and that it will affect many independent traders and businesses, but it is absolutely necessary. This is a very serious virus that spreads very easily. We cannot take chances and the national advice and guidance from Public Health England and the Government is to avoid social activities such as going to pubs, restaurants and theatres and to avoid mass gatherings such as events. We must all adhere to this guidance for everyone’s safety.
“I recognise that this is a significant thing to do and restrictive but our aim in all of the measures we are implementing is to save as many lives as we can and to restrict and slow the growth of the epidemic. By doing this we give the NHS as good a chance as possible to help us all.”