Labor Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced Monday evening that he will cancel planned New Year’s celebrations in the British capital, given the massive increase in cases of the highly contagious omicron variant.
“With COVID-19 infection rates at record levels in our city and the UK, I am determined to (…) do everything in my power to contain the spread of the new species and ensure that our healthcare services are not overstretched this winter,” he said. Khan in a statement.
“This means that we will no longer host this 6,500-person celebration scheduled for New Year’s Eve in Trafalgar Square,” he declared.
“It will be very disappointing for a lot of Londoners, but we have to take the right steps to limit the spread of the virus,” he added.
On stage, a “live broadcast” will be broadcast by the BBC, “in celebration of the city and the announcement of the landmarks of 2021,” the municipality statement explained.
With this measure, London follows in the footsteps of Paris, which announced, Saturday, the cancellation of fireworks and concerts to be celebrated on the famous Champs-Elysées, or even Morocco, which banned the organization of parties and established a touch of parties. It combines between midnight and 06:00.
According to the authorities, at least 14 people infected with the omicron variant of covid-19 have died so far, and 129 people have been hospitalized in the United Kingdom, one of the countries worst affected by the epidemic in Europe, with more than 147,000 deaths.
On Monday, the country recorded 91,743 new cases of COVID-19 in the space of 24 hours, leaving Britons divided between those wary of demanding more restrictions and those who say they are outright hostile, over their impact on the economy.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that he will not hesitate to take more restrictive measures to curb the spread of the omicron variant.
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