London's mayor cancels New Year's Eve celebrations in Trafalgar Square

A light display over the River Thames and fireworks on Tower Bridge in London, as London's normal Ne

Fireworks on Tower Bridge, New Year's Eve 2020. The capital's usual New Year's Eve fireworks event has been cancelled again due to the coronavirus pandemic. - Credit: PA

New Year's Eve celebrations in Trafalgar Square have been cancelled following a surge in Omicron cases in London. 

The central London event, which was expected to welcome around 6,500 key workers and members of the public, will no longer take place. 

London mayor Sadiq Khan said: "We must take the right steps to reduce the spread of the virus."

He declared a major incident in London on Saturday (December 18) amid 65,525 new confirmed cases in the past seven days and the impact of the surge on frontline services.

A 29 per cent increase in London hospital admissions had also been recorded in the last week.

Revellers, who may have attended the central London send-off to 2021, are now being asked to watch a live TV broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer which organisers say will celebrate the city and highlight the most defining moments of the past year.

It means that London is the latest major city across the globe to cancel or cut back on New Year celebrations as the Omicron strain spreads around the world.

Rio in Brazil has cancelled its world-famous New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Most Read

Displays in Paris, have also been cancelled as Europe braces for tighter curbs to rein in the spread of the new strain and German politicians have banned the sale of fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

Celebrations in Times Square are currently uncertain as the variant has spread in New York.

Mr Khan said: "This will be very disappointing for many Londoners, but we must take the right steps to reduce the spread of the virus. I’m proud that we will still have an incredible broadcast spectacular to watch on our screens, which will showcase our great city to the rest of the world."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan 

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan - Credit: PA

He called on the government to step forward with a package of support for London’s retail, hospitality, tourism, night-time and cultural businesses that are being badly hit by the impact of the variant.

Meanwhile, Wembley Park's New Year's We Will Rock You celebration with headliners UK Queen is still taking place, as of December 21.

New Year's events are also still taking place at Egg London in Islington, Tobacco Dock in Wapping, Printworks London in Surrey Quays and Bar A Bar in Stoke Newington, among many other venues in the capital. 

The Union Chapel in Islington however, has cancelled all its remaining Christmas and January events.