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31st March 2021 - Press Release

Port of Dover Community Regatta and White Cliffs Christmas

Reluctantly, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the decision has been taken that no large-scale public events will take place on the port estate in 2021. This includes the Port of Dover Community Regatta and White Cliffs Christmas.

Safety concerns around how to ensure social distancing and restrict numbers on the seafront for an event that can attract up to 10,000 people were uppermost in the decision regarding the Regatta.  With White Cliffs Christmas being an indoor event and difficulties identified in maintaining social distancing for some of the most popular activities such as the real ice rink, the risks were considered too great.

Doug Bannister, Chief Executive, Port of Dover, said: “One year on and who could have foreseen that we would be in a third national lockdown?  These major events take months of planning and although we hope that the UK manages to stick to the roadmap set out by the Prime Minister, there are still too many uncertainties to begin preparations at this time with confidence.  Public safety has been at the heart of our decision making and so cancelling this year’s two major public events at the port was the responsible thing to do.”

The Port recognises that this news will be disappointing at a time when people may well be looking for more activities to enjoy in their local area this year.  Subject to the progress being made at the time regarding the easing out of the national lockdown, the Port is therefore going to explore whether or not it might be possible to safely hold any smaller scale events on the waterfront this year and is in discussions with local partners to look at the potential to do this.

No 2021 dates had been previously announced for events at the port.


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