London’s annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display will not take place this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the city’s mayor has confirmed.
Sadiq Khan said instead that he was working on doing something that “people can enjoy in the comfort and safety of their living rooms on TV”.
Tens of thousands of people congregate on the banks of the River Thames on December 31 each year to watch the display marking the new year.
Last year around 100,000 revellers packed into the streets around Victoria Embankment, as 2,000 fireworks were fired from the London Eye.
But Mr Khan told LBC radio on Friday morning: “There will not be fireworks on New Year’s Eve this year like in previous years.
“We simply can’t afford to have the numbers of people who congregate on New Year’s Eve, congregating.
“What we are working on – we’re not in a position yet to say what it is, because we’ve not done the details – is to do something that people can enjoy in the comfort and safety of their living rooms on TV.
“And so as soon as we’ve managed to bottom that out, I’ll be letting Londoners know, and people across the country, in fact.
“But we can’t afford to lose that slot … because New Year’s Eve is a really great opportunity for the rest of the world to see how wonderful our city is.
“Particularly during a recession, we need to continue investment in our city and people coming to London.”
In July, tickets for Edinburgh’s traditional Hogmanay street party were withdrawn as organisers said it could not take place in its “current form” amid the pandemic.