BOURNEMOUTH and Christchurch residents have expressed concerns about the Covid-19 health and safety measures for the funfair starting in Christchurch today.

B. Cole & Sons Family Fairground will be opening their funfair at Christchurch Recreation Ground to the public today for 16 days, with safety measures in place to comply with the social distancing guidelines.

However people have voiced apprehension over the fun fair, saying that although children may be a lower risk of infection, those caring for them may be put at danger at the pleasure ground.

Karen Pitt from Southbourne said: “We have care of our nine-year-old grandson and we won’t be taking him.

“I know that children are at little risk, but they have to be taken by someone who may come into contact with someone who is at high risk.

“We have been fortunate that our grandson has been at school all this time as we have been working but it is only another month and they are all expected to return. This type of event just encourages people to mingle together.”

Residents have also questioned how large public events can be held yet small family gatherings can no go ahead under the current guidelines.

Kristal Day said: "I cannot understand how people are permitted to go to a fun fair, but it’s not permitted for a father to accompany his wife and newborn baby at hospital appointments."

Emma Himdard added: “How are they going to social distance that.... And are they cleaning every ride after every turn.”

Theme parks, funfairs and outdoor playgrounds were given the green light to reopen as of July 4, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the Government was relaxing the two-metre social distancing rule to "one metre plus" in England.

Although the fairground owner have made a host of Covid-19 mitigating measures, BCP Council have said that people looking to attend need to take “personal responsibility” to ensure they and the rest of the public stay safe.

Councillor Mark Howell, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Culture and Economy at BCP Council said: “Following the latest government guidance on the easing of lockdown restrictions, the government has allowed for the reopening of funfairs in England.

“This means that the Christchurch Funfair is able to operate in town and local residents can look forward to once again welcoming this popular seasonal attraction.

“The operator will be providing the appropriate Covid-19 mitigation measures and it remains vitally important that everyone takes personal responsibility for following government guidance to ensure the Fair can run safely.”

Other theme parks and public events are also operating in the area, such as the Circus Wonderland in Wimborne, which has been running since Tuesday, and the Charles Cole's Family Fun Fairs at Sandford, which has been open since the beginning of the month.

Cllr Howell added: “We continue to work closely with all types of businesses across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, highlighting the latest advice and offering guidance to enable them to re-open safely following lockdown.

“Currently we are also accepting applications for events for up to 30 people and for larger outdoor events to take place post 31 August.

“This is with the provision that they comply with industry guidance developed by the government, which requires them to carry out a dedicated Covid-19 risk assessment.’’