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All rallies until the end of July have been cancelled
Letter from the Caravan and Motorhome Cub
Thank you for your patience over the last few weeks whilst the Club has been working on its approach to support Centres in preparation for being able to rally again. Last week, at the same time as the Prime Minister’s welcome announcement that caravan parks were able to re-open from 4 July in England, a new and unexpected provision was factored into the guidance around ‘meeting up’ which stated that it would be illegal for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place. I stress the word illegal here because unlike other guidance, this specific provision will be written into law. Since before lockdown we have asserted as a Club, and continued to emphasise this in our protocol for rallies, that a rally was only for the siting/parking of leisure vehicles and that no social aspects of a rally could take place. However, there is now a very strong concern that by the manner in which a rally is organised through a Centre to enable a group to come together for a common cause, it is much more difficult to argue that a rally is not a gathering. The spirit of the legislation is certainly to reduce the risks of the virus spreading which are associated with large groups of people coming together and the Club has received the view of Scotland Yard that indicates that rallies are likely to attract the attention of local police forces as gatherings, particularly because there is a lot of nervousness by local populations in tourist areas about the spread of the virus.
In the absence of clear guidance in this area from the Government at this time, the Club’s Executive Committee discussed the situation at length this morning and reached the conclusion that all rallies for July should be cancelled. This means that the exemption certificate (under which rallies are able to operate**) will be withdrawn for the month of July. The Executive Committee will reassess the situation at its meeting on 20 July to give advice about those rallies which are currently planned to take place in August, and beyond. This was a very difficult decision to take, and the Committee was very aware of the disappointment that this would cause many members who are eager to return to rallying as soon as possible and will have made plans, some even as soon as this coming weekend. However, the overriding feeling was that the safety of the Club’s members and volunteers must be paramount, the Club has a responsibility to comply with the law and there was no desire to place our volunteers into a situation where they may have to deal with a police intervention.
I appreciate that receiving this message today is short notice for you and I sincerely hope that you can make alternative arrangements for the future in any discussions with landowners. In the event that bookings have been made by Centres for members to use pitches on commercially-licensed caravan sites, these can be discussed with the site operator who operates the site under their own licence, and does not require the use of the Club’s exemption certificate.