Brighton Pride weekend traditional events cancelled but 'it is so important that we keep raising our voices for equality'

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Friday, 6th August 2021, 1:09 am
Updated Friday, 6th August 2021, 1:12 am
Brighton Pride 2019. Picture by Eddie Mitchell

Brighton and Hove City Council said the Pride parade, party and festival usually held this weekend are important community events and will be much missed.

The council is expecting the city to be busy and said it was important to keep raising our voices for equality but it also urged people to keep themselves safe and Covid-free.

Councillor Steph Powell, co-chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture committee, said: “We know that many people will still want to mark Pride, so we are anticipating a busier weekend than usual.

“It’s so important that we can keep raising our voices for equality. Whatever your plans, it’s really important to remember that Brighton & Hove is still an area with high rates of Covid – and we know that the last thing people want is to come away unwell. We want to make sure everyone can have a safe and positive experience, as we continue to champion LGBTQIA+ equality both here and around the world.”

Offering advice for people heading to the city, Cllr Powell said it was good to avoid busy areas, wear a mask if you can, keep spaces well ventilated or meet outside. People are urged to use lateral flow tests before going out and if they have symptoms, they should stay at home.

Cllr Powell added: “It’s also important to be aware that already stretched emergency services and public transport may also struggle to manage any extra demand, and that while we’re putting in place measures to help manage queues, trains can be cancelled at short notice because of staff shortages. As with any summer weekend, we’re also sharing strong warnings about sea safety and litter on our seafront.”

Covid cases start to increase again in the city

The advice comes as the weekly rate of confirmed covid cases in Brighton and Hove was similar to last week, although the downward trend has reversed in the last few days and the number of cases is now increasing again, said Director of Public Health, Alistair Hill.

In the seven days up to 30 July the number of confirmed new cases in the city fell slightly by three per cent from 1,166 to 1,135. That gives a rate of 390.2 per 100,000 people – higher than the England rate of 288.1 and the South East rate of 239.5. The biggest increase in cases over the last week has been in young adults, the council said.

Mr Hill added: “We’re hearing that some people are ignoring positive lateral flow test results because they don’t feel ill. I cannot stress too highly that this is a very bad idea. There are still too many unprotected people who could become very unwell if they come into contact with someone who is carrying the virus. All positive lateral flow tests must be followed up with a PCR test while you self-isolate.”

Marking Pride and calling for equality

The council is marking the city’s traditional Pride week by flying the inclusive pride flags on Hove and Brighton town halls.

Green councillors in Brighton said the call remains for LGBTQIA+ equality both in the UK and around the world.

Cllr Powell added: “Our commitment to LGBTQIA+ rights is unwavering. Though we’ll miss the fabulous Pride parade events and festival on what would usually be a significant weekend for our city’s communities, Pride only reminds us of the need to raise our voices for lasting equality.”