Already down on London’s explosive New Year’s Eve fireworks display, cancelled thanks to Covid, there’s more grim news for anyone who was wishing to ring in 2022 with a city centre party. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has confirmed that the replacement celebration, due to take place in Trafalgar Square with a deliberately more modest turnout, have also been cancelled. With Covid-19 cases on the rise, fuelled in part by the emergence of the Omicron variant, Khan said that the celebration had been cancelled because “the safety of Londoners must come first”.
Due to the surge in Covid cases, we've taken the difficult decision to cancel our NYE event in Trafalgar Square. The safety of Londoners must come first.
A spectacular NYE celebration showcasing our city will still be shown on midnight on BBC1 – I urge all Londoners to tune in. pic.twitter.com/a9tOJ7f9td
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) December 20, 2021
The Trafalgar Square celebration was due to welcome some 6500 people, way down on the hundreds of thousands who’d gather by the Thames for the annual fireworks, but still too big a gathering of people in close proximity with a Covid surge taking place. Plans for live music, performers, and food stalls were in the works for the New Year’s Eve party, and whilst it sounded like a jolly nice time, this is surely the right call with the rapid uptick in cases leading to a record number of daily new cases over the past few days.
So, what can you actually do on New Year’s Eve this year? Well, as in years past, the celebrations will take place on screens, with a BBC1 special at midnight on New Year’s Eve showcasing the best of London, and the year we’ve just had. Tune in for a nice dose of heartwarming London-lovin’, pour the wine, and gather your loved ones close (provided you’re not unfortunately stuck in isolation), and we’ll welcome in 2022 as best we can. And then, fingers crossed, we’ll be back to the regularly scheduled festivities when next New Year’s Eve rolls around…
Also published on Medium.