East Riding Council’s public health lead has said he would still advise residents visiting Hull Fair to get coronavirus tests and vaccines after Hull City Council’s leader defended holding it.

East Riding Council Public Health Director Andy Kingdom said he had “confidence” that extra coronavirus measures in place for this year’s Hull Fair would keep visitors safe.

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But he added he would still recommend those visiting get vaccinated and do tests before and afterwards as he would with any mass gathering.

It comes as Hull City Council leader Cllr Daren Hale defended going ahead with the Fair, which returns on Friday, October 8, following its cancellation last year.

Cllr Hale added in last week’s council meeting the East Riding public health lead should “stick to worrying about Bridlington Beach” after the latter previously expressed worries about the Fair.

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The council leader said: “"Of course we are worried but ultimately you have got to make choices in life and this is the choice we have made. People can make their own choices over whether they want to go or not but sometimes you have to take difficult decisions for the good of the city."

Mr Kingdom previously said he was concerned about “pinch points” at the Fair where a lot of people would be in close quarters and about mixing outside the event.

He added the cancellation of the Nottingham Goose Fair, meaning Hull Fair is the only event of its kind happening outside London this year, could make it busier than usual.

The Showmen’s Guild which organises the fair and Hull City Council officials have both said additional coronavirus measures will be in place at the event.

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Mr Kingdom said he had confidence Hull City Council public health teams would do everything they could to make Hull Fair coronavirus-safe..

The director said: “We’ll be working really closely with our public health colleagues in Hull to keep as many residents as safe as possible while Hull Fair’s on, I wouldn’t want to say anything to undermine their work.

“I have confidence that Hull’s public health team will put all the measures that they need to in place to do that.

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“But I would still advise East Riding residents or anyone planning on going to get vaccinated and to get a test before and afterwards.

“And I’d recommend people do that if they’re going to any large mass gatherings, you’ll be much safer when you’re wandering around the fairground.”

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