Organisers of the Boxing Day swim in Sidmouth have confirmed this year’s event has been cancelled due to coronavirus.
Sidmouth Regatta & Boxing Day Swim say the decision has been taken with regret but circumstances of the health emergency make it impossible to guarantee a safe environment.
In a statement the organisers say: “It is with regret that due to the current restrictions the Boxing Day Swim is cancelled.
“Irrespective of the Christmas relaxation of Covid regulations, it would be impossible to provide a Covid safe environment and would be irresponsible of the committee to continue with the swim this year.”
Dozens of people take the annual dip in the sea, with many hardy swimmers wearing fancy dress. The swim, which is always dependent on the weather, first began in 1985 and is a hugely popular part of Christmas in the town.
Organisers have asked people not to ignore safety concerns and gather on the beach.
“Please do not be tempted to take to the water as there will be no safety cover and it would encourage groups to congregate.
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“Thank you for your understanding. Stay safe and have a Happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year.”