HUNDREDS of travellers have descended on a village for a horse fair despite calls for it to be scrapped over coronavirus fears.
Dozens of caravans and vehicles could be seen packed onto a field for the Wellingborough Horse Fair near Wollaston, Northants, on Saturday
Around 200 people are expected at the event over the Bank Holiday weekend despite it being against the law to hold gatherings of more than 30 people.
The horse fair has been allowed to go ahead in spite of calls for it to be shut down over fears of the spread of Covid-19 and the county being on the verge of local lockdown.
Businesses and pubs in nearby villages have closed their doors while hundreds of travellers enjoy themselves at the site – which features a beer tent, food and a disco.
Police said there had been no reports of any crimes – but footage has emerged on social media appearing to show dancing punters crammed into a tent “like sardines”.
One local resident, who did not want to be named, said: “We cannot believe this event has been allowed to go ahead.
“Police have said there have been no incidents and the whole event doesn’t breach Covid regulations.
“This comes at a time when you can’t have more than 30 people at a wedding and only a handful at funerals, and police are breaking up parties in people’s back gardens.
“It’s completely outrageous.”
The footage from the event posted on Facebook shows hundreds of people standing shoulder-to-shoulder inside a tent while dancing to music and drinking beer.
Yet police have said there have been no reports of crime or disorder and that the organisers of DJ Lady and QD’s Horse Fair continued to “engage positively with authorities.”
A force spokesperson said: “Public health officials have reviewed the site and measures are in place.
“They have assessed the risk of risk of spread of the virus at this event remains low.
“The organiser, who continues to engage positively with the authorities, has indicated there are unlikely to be many more people arriving at the site at this time.
“Partner agencies, who remain very concerned by the heightened levels of infection in some parts of Northamptonshire, will continue to monitor numbers and activity at the site, and will continue to work with the organiser to ensure the risk of infection is minimised.
“The appropriate agency will enforce Covid-19 regulations where necessary.”
Earlier in the week, a Tory MP called for the horse fair to be cancelled – saying it was “totally irresponsible” for it go ahead.
Peter Bone, the MP for Wellingborough said the gathering should not go ahead at a time when the county has heightened Covid-19 restrictions in place.
He said: “It seems to me that it is very irresponsible to hold this horse fair while we have additional Covid restrictions.
“I would encourage people not to attend the event if it goes ahead.
“I myself have visited the site and in my opinion such a large event happening in the middle of the pandemic, when there is additional local restrictions is unacceptable.”