A Dundee secondary school has been forced to cancel its Christmas show as level three restrictions mean the event is against public health guidance.
Craigie High School had planned to host its traditional Christmas review as a ‘drive-in’ style event and people booked places to watch the outdoor performance from their cars.
Updates from the school posted online at the weekend detailed how senior pupils were hard at work “preparing a fun programme of Christmas entertainment.”
It was also hoped the event, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, December 15, would raise money for performers suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic, with the Dundee Rep and the charity Help Musicians UK among intended recipients.
However due to the city’s current status as a level three area, the school was forced to scrap the performance – even though the audience was limited to one household per car.
Very disappointed to announce that @Craigie_High Christmas drive in can't take place due to covid restrictions in place for tier 3 – public gatherings, even isolated in cars can't take place. Thanks for support and to the many people who booked a slot for this event 😥
— CHSMusic-Drama (@Craigiemusarama) November 30, 2020
Posting on their Twitter page, Craigie High’s music and drama department thanked everyone for their support but confirmed the event would no longer go-ahead.
They said: “Very disappointed to announce that Craigie High’s Christmas drive in can’t take place due to Covid restrictions in place for tier 3 – public gatherings, even isolated in cars can’t take place.
“Thanks for the support and to the many people who booked a slot for this event.”
It is unclear at this stage if an alternative Christmas show will be arranged.
Under the Scottish Government’s Covid restrictions, no live events are allowed in areas which are under level three or four restrictions. This includes drive-in events such as the proposed Craigie Christmas show.
Drive-in events are however permitted in areas which are in level 2 or below.
Dundee City Council’s SNP education convener Stewart Hunter said the cancellation was the unfortunate reality of the current restrictions the city faced but was for the good of public health.
He said: “The guidelines are in place for a good reason and unfortunately it has meant that for a lot of schools, this year’s Christmas events are particularly difficult.
“They are a huge part of the school year, whether it’s a pantomime or a carol service, and it is really disappointing that those events can’t go on this year.
“The important thing is that we follow all the guidance from the Scottish Government and do what we are being asked to do so that we can get out of level three as quickly as we can.”
The Strathmartine councillor was optimistic school performances would be up and running again next year and said schools could contact the council if they had any questions over the current restrictions.
He said: “What I would say to schools is to follow the Scottish Government guidance and if they have queries we are happy to double check to see what is and is not permissible.
“It’s been a really tough year for pupils and staff and it would’ve been a really nice thing to do but unfortunately where we are at with the virus, it’s not possible.
“I’m sure at some point once we are back to normal, we can put something on to make up for the lost events this year.”
When we approached the Scottish Government it did not specifically comment on the Craigie cancellation but said the current restrictions were available to view online and that no live events in any form were permitted in level three areas.