London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks ‘are ON’: Display ‘will take place over the Shard, St Paul’s and Millennium Bridge and feature performances from Elton John and Dua Lipa’ after annual celebration by London Eye was axed in October
- Annual fireworks display usually takes place on Victoria Embankment by Big Ben
- But this was called off by Sadiq Khan in October due to concerns over Omicron
- Decision criticised by Sajid Javid, who said there was ‘no reason’ for cancellation
London will still enjoy a New Year’s Eve fireworks display with performances from Elton John and Dua Lipa, according to unconfirmed reports.
The annual display organised by the Mayor of London usually takes place on the Victoria Embankment by Big Ben, but was officially axed in October for a second year running due to concerns over the Omicron variant.
However, The Sun reports a display will still take place up the river by the Shard, St Paul’s and the Millennium Bridge. MailOnline has contacted Mr Khan’s office for comment.
Labour mayor Mr Khan previously said traditional display, which would have drawn hundreds of thousands of people to Victoria Embankment, had been called off, blaming Covid ‘uncertainty’.
The annual display organised by the Mayor of London usually takes place on the Victoria Embankment by Big Ben. Pictured is the last display in 2020
Health Secretary Sajid Javid criticised the decision, saying there was ‘no reason’ the annual tradition could not go ahead after the government gave the go ahead for NYE gatherings.
The Tory told LBC: ‘Obviously that’s a decision for the Mayor, but from my point of view, I can’t understand why that can’t happen.
‘I mean, I think there’s a perfectly safe way that that can take place, so I really don’t understand that decision, but as I say, that’s not a decision for the government. It’s the Mayor’s firework display, so I hope he can reconsider it.’
Earlier this month Mr Khan also called off a NYE event in Trafalgar Square.
Boris Johnson will decide next week whether to impose new coronavirus restrictions to limit indoor socialising as the Prime Minister said in his New Year’s Eve message that there are likely to be ‘challenges’ in the weeks ahead.
Mr Johnson is expected to make a decision in the first week of the New Year on whether to restrict mixing indoors in England, according to The Times.
The Prime Minister opted not to impose new curbs between Christmas and New Year’s Eve but rising Covid case numbers are fuelling fears that new measures could be on the horizon.
A further 189,213 coronavirus cases were recorded across the UK yesterday – a new record high – while the number of hospital patients with Covid in England rose to 11,452, a rise of 61 per cent in just one week.
Estimates published by the Office for National Statistics today suggested one in 25 people in England had Covid in the week to December 23, up from one in 45 in the week to December 16.
One in 25 equates to approximately two million people – the highest number since the ONS started estimating infection levels in England in May 2020.
Boris Johnson will decide next week whether to impose new coronavirus restrictions on socialising as the Prime Minister said in his New Year’s Eve message that there are likely to be ‘challenges’ in the weeks ahead. Revellers are pictured in Leeds on Thursday night
Mr Johnson said in his New Year’s Eve message that the nation’s position in the battle against the disease is now ‘incomparably better than last year’ thanks to the vaccine rollout.
It came as NHS bosses warned that the Government ‘needs to be ready to introduce tighter restrictions at real speed should they be needed’.
Chris Hopson, the head of NHS Providers, said new curbs ‘may be needed at pace if the evidence warrants it’ as he said health bosses ‘still don’t know’ if there will be a surge in elderly hospitalisations which could trigger Mr Johnson to act.
Meanwhile, a Government scientific adviser today warned it is likely the NHS will be overwhelmed by the spread of the Omicron variant.
Professor Peter Openshaw, who sits on the Government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), said: ‘I think we haven’t quite reached the threshold that was set by Government in terms of the NHS being overwhelmed, but it looks like that will be reached quite quickly.’
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