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Sadiq Khan cancels New Year’s Eve celebrations as London grapples with soaring Covid cases

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It had been hoped that the event would replace the capital’s iconic firework show after it was cancelled in October due to continued uncertainty amid the pandemic. But this evening the Mayor of London said it too would not go ahead.

It comes as the city was hit with 140,942 confirmed infections in a week – more than three times as many as the 42,455 in the first week of this month.

In a statement, Mr Khan said the move was the part of his efforts to “reduce the spread of the virus”.

In a statement, he added: “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.

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

In its place, Mr Khan said 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”.

Instead of going out, people have been urged to stay home and watch it live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, amid cautions that it will not be visible from the ground or key locations.

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