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"Thousands of people along the seafront isn't sensible this year"

Thursday 01 April 2021

"Thousands of people along the seafront isn't sensible this year"


Liberation Day will be celebrated differently this year, with islanders being asked to "host parties in their own communities" to avoid thousands of people gathering in one place.

While the island is now restriction-free, organisers have consulted Public Health and have decided to limit activities in Town.

The morning of Liberation Day will focus on commemoration, with the Town Church Liberation Day service being live streamed, while the unveiling of the Liberation Monument and laying of the wreath will also be shown in a digital format.

The afternoon is "all about celebration" and organisers are urging neighbours, friends and families to hold their own, smaller parties and gatherings to watch this year's around-the-island cavalcade.

"It is fantastic that as an island we are in a better place to celebrate Liberation Day this year than we were in 2020, when we had to largely all mark the day from our own homes," said Organising Committee Member Deputy Sue Aldwell.

"But we need to be a little cautious and having discussed this at length with Public Health – and I’d like to thank them for the advice and guidance they gave us – we have taken what we believe is a sensible approach to celebrating what is such a special day for all of us."

During the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Guernsey, cases where linked to multiple large gatherings and venues, such as the Festival of Dance and three supermarkets. 

"We felt Liberation Day this year just came a little bit too soon after lockdown"

As things stand however, there are no restrictions on size of gatherings, with no new cases of the virus detected in over a month and no active cases. 

Organisers and Public Health officials are erring on the side of caution, saying that celebrations "are full steam ahead but they will look and feel a bit different".

"We want everyone to get out and enjoy the freedom we have, but we just didn’t think it was sensible to have up to 10,000 people crammed together in Town at the moment," said Deputy Aldwell.

"We felt Liberation Day this year just came a little bit too soon after lockdown, and were concerned about having such large numbers of people in close proximity even if the island remains Covid-free at that point as we all hope it will be.

"So our plea today is for everyone to get their thinking hats on, discuss with their friends, families and neighbours, and come up with great ideas for their own celebrations closer to home. We really hope that there will end up being lots of these scattered across the island, which while limiting the number of people at any one location means the many people who normally enjoy Liberation Day will still be able to do so."

Pictured top: Liberation Day celebrations in 2019.

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