Covid: Appleby Horse Fair postponed 'in hope it can happen later'

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image copyrightOLI SCARFF/AFP
image captionOrganisers said the event taking place depended on "public health"

Europe's largest gathering of Gypsies and travellers has been postponed because of Covid restrictions.

Appleby Horse Fair was to be held in June but the government's timetable for easing limits on social contact would have prohibited it, organisers said.

Last year the annual event, which attracts about 40,000 people, was cancelled for only the second time in 250 years because of the pandemic.

It is hoped the Cumbrian town can host the fair later in the year.

Prior to 21 June, gatherings of more than 30 people are expected to remain banned under Covid guidance.

Before last year, the fair had only ever been cancelled during the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak.

Chairman of the Appleby Horse Fair co-ordinating group Les Clark said: "It is hoped that by the end of June, large events and gatherings can safely take place across the country.

"If a suitable date is identified, it will be announced as soon as possible - potentially by the end of this month - in order to give everyone, including the settled and the Gypsy and traveller communities, time to make any preparations they need."

Mr Clark added that all of the organisers are "in agreement that any proposals are completely dependent on the public health situation as we approach the summer".

image copyrightOLI SCARFF/AFP
image captionBefore last year, the fair was last cancelled during the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak

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