MORE Borders summer festivals have been cancelled due to coronavirus.

Selkirk Common Riding, St Ronan’s Border Games (Innerleithen), Lauder Common Riding and Duns’ Reivers Week have all been called off for the second year running.

The decision follows advice from Scottish Borders Council.

As reported last week, organisers of the Braw Lads’ Gathering, Peebles’ Beltane and Hawick Common Riding have also announced their annual festivities have fallen victim to the pandemic.

In a statement, the provost of the Selkirk Common Riding Trust, Keith Miller, said: “Following full and careful consideration of the restrictions in relation to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, Selkirk Common Riding Trustees have decided there is no alternative available but to cancel Selkirk’s 2021 Common Riding, which was scheduled to be held on Friday, June 18.

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“The Trustees received guidance and advice on Friday, January 22 from the chairman of the Scottish Borders Multi Agency Safety Advisory Group (SAG) explaining that the Scottish Government’s strategic framework setting out the five-level protections will continue throughout the remainder of 2021.

“It would appear that the Scottish Borders would have to be in tier zero or tier one for consideration of ANY form of attended event, whether indoors or outdoors, to take place and there would be strict controls applied around both the numbers attending and the event format itself.

“Should restrictions sit at tier two or above within the Borders, events would not be permitted.

“The Trustees decided that, at this stage, it is too early to predict any changes to the tier system from the vaccination programme but remain hopeful that as it progresses there may be an opportunity for curtailed events to take place later in the year.

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“We are extremely disappointed to have to cancel for a second year, but as event organisers, our main priority has to be the health and safety of the public.

“We can only hope that 2022 will allow us to get back to normal.”

A similar statement was issued by Lauder Common Riding this week, with committee chairman Michael Middlemiss saying: “The Lauder Common Riding Committee have discussed the 2021 Common Riding in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. First and foremost we must ensure the safety of all those participating in its events.

“As a committee we have not and will not arrange events which do not conform to Government guidelines.

“After considering advice from the Scottish Borders Council and the Scottish Borders Multi Agency Safety Advisory Group, we have agreed that Lauder Common Riding 2021 cannot proceed under current conditions.

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“I know it will be a huge disappointment to once again have no Cornet elected, and to cancel our traditional Common Riding festivities during 2021, but I am sure you will agree that the safety and health of our community comes first.”

In Innerleithen, a public meeting will take place online to discuss this year’s St Ronan’s Border Games Week.

A spokesperson said: “The Committee of St Ronan’s Border Games is currently discussing various options for virtual and other ways to mark Games Week 2021.

“Once we are able to, we will share our plans.

“In the meantime, our annual public meeting will take place online on Friday March 12 at 7pm. We would be pleased to welcome any members of the public at the meeting, simply email to receive the Zoom link.”