/Group pulls out of Cornwall Pride because of high Covid rates

Group pulls out of Cornwall Pride because of high Covid rates

The local branch of the Green Party has said it will no longer attend Cornwall Pride this year, in light of Newquay’s high numbers of Covid infections – but says it’ll be there ‘“in spirit”.

Cornwall Green Party, the duchy’s branch of the national political party, was due to have a stall on Saturday (August 28).

Read: Boardmasters, tourists and lack of immunity: Why Devon and Cornwall’s Covid rates have soared

However, a party spokesperson has said it will no longer go along, owing to the incredibly high numbers of coronavirus in Newquay.

Jo Poland, who was due to organise the stall, said: “We are gutted to have to do this, as we were greatly looking forward to this key event on the LGBTQ+ calendar and had created a new bespoke Green Party/Pride Flag for the occasion.

“But we feel that we cannot put our volunteers – some of whom are in high-risk groups – at risk, and given the very high number of Covid cases in Newquay and the pressure this puts local services under, we feel that this is the responsible decision.

“Cornwall Green Party strongly supports the rights of everyone in the LGBTQ+ community, and we will be with Pride in spirit on Saturday.”

The town is currently the worst in the country for Covid, with hundreds of new infections each week.

Additional tourists in a particularly busy year, mixed with the recent influx of 50,000 attendees of Boardmasters Festival at Watergate Bay has created a perfect storm for Newquay.

Newquay East, Newquay West and St Columb Minor & Porth are the three worst areas in England at the moment for Covid. Newquay East has England’s highest infection rate by far at 2,147.3/100,000 – showing more than two per cent of the residents testing positive in the seven-day period – with 214 positive cases with specimens from August 13 to 19.

Newquay West at 1648/100,000 is second in the list, with 122 positives, with St Columb Minor & Porth at 1,536/100,000 third in the list with 135 positive cases.

Cornwall Pride 2021 is due to go ahead this year
Cornwall Pride 2021 is due to go ahead this year
(Image: Cornwall Pride)

Cornwall Pride chairman Matthew Kenworthy Gomes explained that his group had been talking to the council’s public health team about whether the event should go ahead. He added that the event is non-profit and a necessity to the community.

The public health team, he said, was “happy” with the way it’s due to be run – with social distancing and mask-wearing requested even though the event is all being hosted in the open air at Killacourt, near Towan Beach.

The group is also asking people to stay at home if they have any symptoms and to show their Covid-negative test results when asked.

You can read more about the event’s precautions here.

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Cornwall Pride to go ahead in the Covid hotspot of England at Newquay

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