Updated Statement 30/05/2020
Following the recent announcement by the UK Government about changes to the lockdown rules, it felt appropriate to update our statement with regards to party kit hire during this time.
Each of the party kits in the Party Kit Network are run independently and as such it is at the discretion of the kit owner as to whether they feel it is safe to hire out their own kit.
While it will be possible for up to 6 people from different households to meet in private gardens from 1st June (in England), the view of the Network remains that it is still too early to recommence party kit hire.
To date there have been over 38,000 recorded deaths from Coronavirus across the UK - this is the second-highest rate of death and highest absolute number of excess deaths in Europe. This epidemic is far from over and without a vaccine the only way to protect lives is to continue to reduce infection rates, which means continuing to reduce contact.
There have been reports that people are knowingly breaking lockdown restrictions with 14 per cent of people in the UK surveyed saying they have had friends or family visit them at home, so it seems irresponsible to encourage parties at this time.
Party kits have been created to avoid unnecessary waste from disposables, and while permitted gatherings remain small enough that disposables are unlikely to be used there is currently little benefit in offering party kits.
For now, it is the view of the Network that virtual parties remain the safest way to celebrate.
Please note that lockdown restrictions differ across the countries of the UK.
The full guidance to England's lockdown rules are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do
Northern Ireland https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19
Following the announcement that UK schools are to be closed (for non-key workers) and that the rate of infection in the UK is not slowing, we feel the only responsible action is to encourage the suspension of all parties during this time.
We believe the risk of transmission via party kit equipment to be low* as all equipment items are thoroughly washed between hires, however the parties themselves have a high chance of spreading the virus between guests.
While it is heart-breaking to cancel a party, especially for children, isolation and social distancing are our main tools in trying to slow the spread of this epidemic.
Please stay at home. Please postpone your party. And please delay your party kit hire.
Each of the party kits in the Party Kit Network are run independently however we have asked all kit owners to provide a full refund if you have a hire booked which must now be cancelled. Please contact the party kit you made the book through to arrange a postponement or refund.
Packing away our party kits for the foreseeable future has been difficult, especially when we were just getting started. But the time for parties and reducing waste will come again - we just need patience.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and update this page accordingly.