People urged to wear face coverings at two Christmas events in Barrow

PEOPLE are being urged to wear face coverings when attending two large Christmas events in Barrow this year. 

The move is to help stop the spread of Covid and protect vulnerable people across the borough.

The events include the popular Christmas lights switch-on on Saturday, November 20 and Barrow Rotary’s Santa Dash on Saturday, December 11. 

With Covid cases still high in Barrow, people are also being asked to follow public health measures - if anyone tests positive for Covid-19 or is showing symptoms, they should not attend the events. 

Every year the Christmas lights switch on attracts around 4,000 residents and visitors to the town square and this year top musician Zac Thompson is heading a line-up of artists from the local area. 

Ann Thomson, Leader of Barrow Borough Council, said: “It’s great to see these events back on this year as we kick start the Christmas festive season. They are a favourite among so many of our residents and always extremely well supported.

“However, with Covid cases still high in our area, it’s imperative we make everyone’s safety a priority and one way of contributing towards this is by encouraging people who will be attending to wear a face mask. 

“We want to avoid any further restrictions or disruptions in future and so by wearing face masks in crowded public areas is a very easy thing we can do to protect one another and support our local NHS services which are still under pressure.”

While it’s not mandatory, face coverings are still encouraged in crowded and enclosed spaces within the government’s Covid Autumn and Winter Plan. 

The council’s overview and scrutiny Covid working group discussed the matter last week. Working group chair Cllr Bill McEwan said: “Both these events bring a dash of colour to Barrow town centre in the run-up to Christmas and we want everyone to be able to enjoy the atmosphere.

“But Covid-19 is still among us and this community has suffered from its consequences. We are asking everyone who attends the events to wear a mask in order to minimise the spread of infection.”

The Christmas lights switch-on event will begin at 3pm and activities for the Santa Dash will start at 1pm with the fun run getting underway at 3.30pm.