Skip to main content

Home Politics Politics News

NYE party in Trafalgar Square cancelled due to surging COVID cases

London has reported 140,000 new cases in the last week ahead of Christmas

By Will Richards

Red fireworks in a dark sky
Credit: Pexels/Designecologist.

London’s New Year’s Eve party in Trafalgar Square has been cancelled amid rising COVID cases in the capital.

The December 31 celebration, which was set to feature food stalls, stage performers and more, was announced in October to replace the capital’s legendary NYE firework displays, which were cancelled due to COVID concerns.

Now, with 140,000 new cases of COVID in London over the last week, Mayor Sadiq Khan has made the decision to cancel the event.

Khan wrote: “With infections of Covid-19 at record levels across our city and the UK, I’m determined to work closely with partners in our city to do everything we possibly can to slow the spread of the new variant and ensure our NHS services are not overwhelmed this winter.

“This means that we will no longer be hosting a celebration event for 6,500 people on Trafalgar Square this New Year’s Eve.”

His statement added: “This will be very disappointing for many Londoners, but we must take the right steps to reduce the spread of the virus.”

Khan went on to say that a “live broadcast spectacular celebrating our city and highlighting the most defining moments of 2021 will still be the centrepiece of London’s New Year’s Eve celebrations”.

Elsewhere, people in England must now present a COVID pass to enter nightclubs and certain venues.

The new measures are effective from last week (December 15) after MPs voted them through the House Of Commons the day before.

Under the rules, over-18s are required to show proof of their COVID status in order to gain entry to nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people, and any venue with more than 10,000 people (via the BBC).

The new restrictions in England, which are part of the government’s ‘Plan B’ approach, come amid a rise in cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus. Earlier this month (December 10) face masks became mandatory in certain settings, including cinemas, theatres, shops and on public transport.

The government is calling for everyone to come forward for their coronavirus booster jab, with around half a million doses being administered each day. Over-30s can now book their third jab via NHS England (via GOV.UK).