Published: 22:06, 23 October 2020
| Updated: 22:12, 23 October 2020
Dozens of disappointed families were turned away tonight after a circus was cancelled at the last minute due to Covid-19 fears.
Many were already in the queue for Circus Zyair at the Hop Farm in Paddock Wood when they found the sold-out performance had been scrapped.
The circus had put special measures in place to comply with safety guidelines, including limiting capacity to 200.
But they were told shortly before the show was due to start that it would not be going ahead following a decision by Kent County Council.
A Kent County Council spokesman said: “We are sorry that this event can no longer go ahead as planned and understand that those due to attend will be disappointed.
“Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council were made aware of the event and the organisers’ protection measures several weeks ago.
"While the council did not have concerns at that stage, since then cases of Covid-19 have significantly increased in all areas of Kent.
“This increase can, in part, be put down to community transmission and, having considered the risks associated with this event, it has been decided that it could pose a risk to the health of those due to attend.
“Everyone has to play their part in keeping cases as low as possible in every part of the county."
The circus, which had sold out tickets for its first day, was set to run from Friday, October 23, to Sunday, November 1, putting on three performances a day at 11am, 2pm and 5pm.
The circus itself was left confused by the last-minute cancellation, saying on its Facebook page that it was not aware if all performances were now off.
It also assured disappointed customers that full refunds would be issued.
Disappointed Matt Leech posted: "I bet you areall gutted, as I am for you as you all put a lot of effort into this."
Earlier this month a Circus of Horrors show in Rochester was called off for the same reason.