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The board of Notting Hill Carnival Ltd, the organising body of Notting Hill Carnival, has announced that this year’s event will not take place as planned on 29-30 August due to the ongoing uncertainty around Covid-19.

It explained the move in a statement published on the event’s website that the decision has been made after lengthy consultations with strategic partners, its advisory council and individual participating bands and sound systems.

It said, “This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make. Everyone involved in the event desperately wants a return to the road where Carnival belongs but safety has to come first and with the latest cautious announcement on the Government’s ‘roadmap’, this is the only way to ensure that.

“In making this decision, we have considered our responsibilities to deliver a safe, spectacular, successful and sustainable Carnival. The conclusion is that with so much uncertainty, with time short for Carnivalists to prepare and the risk of eventual cancellation a real possibility, we must refocus our efforts for 2021.”

Organisers said that alternative activity would be delivered, much like last year when an array of online activations and content were made available.

Speaking at the Event Production Show (EPS) last month, Carnival director Matthew Phillip said that pre-event testing or the use of Covid status certification would not work at the Carnival due to it being a free event on public roads: “We will take all the necessary steps to make the event work safely, and we expect to see a lot of face masks and hand sanitiser. The Carnival community has been hit hard, the event takes a long time to plan, costumes alone take a year to complete, but there is a real yearning for it.”

At the time, he said that while there is no certainty Carnival would be able to go ahead this year, the Metropolitan Police had been very supportive, with it being eager that a managed event take place that weekend rather than having people gather in the area of their own accord.”