London’s New Year fireworks cancelled over Covid fears

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The UK’s capital will be seeing in the New Year with fewer bangs than usual this year

The National

Sep 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

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London’s skyline won’t be illuminated by its customary fireworks display this New Year’s Eve.

London mayor Sadiq Khan told LBC radio on Friday that the event will not go ahead on December 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tens of thousands of people assemble to see in the new year with a bang in normal times but Mr Khan said that London “simply can't afford” for this to happen.

The annual display is a highlight in the UK capital's events calendar and was expected to be watched on television by in excess of 12 million people.

"We can't afford to lose that slot because [it] is a really great opportunity for the rest of the world to see how wonderful our city is," said the mayor.

He added his administration was working on creating a celebratory event that people could "enjoy in the comfort and safety of their living rooms on TV".

The Twitterati reacted to the news with a mixture of consternation...

...and irony:

Britain has been the worst-hit country in Europe by the coronavirus pandemic with the UK government counting nearly 42,000 deaths from Covid-19.

It has warned that a national lockdown could be reimposed should the rule of six, which came into force on Monday, fail to stem a resurgence in cases.

This gallery shows some of the iridescent New Year scenes London will miss out on.

Fireworks won't be lighting up Big Ben this New Year's Eve.Getty Images

London famous New Year's Eve fireworks have been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Getty Images

Fireworks light up the London skyline and Big Ben just after midnight . London Mayor Sadiq Khan made the cancellation announcement on LBC Radio on Friday. Getty Images

Sadiq Khan said a New Year's Eve celebration would still take place but in safe and secure manner. Getty Images

More than 100,000 tickets were reported to have been sold for last year's display. AFP

Revellers look on by the London Eye during New Year's celebrations in central London last year. AFP

The spectacular ceremony is broadcast across the country every New Year's Eve. AFP

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Updated: September 18, 2020 05:19 PM

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