London’s world-famous New Year’s Eve event will be replaced with a unique broadcast to reflect on 2020 and look forward to 2021.
For safety, the annual firework-orientated celebration will instead take the form of a special broadcast at midnight on BBC One as the capital remembers a challenging year for the country and looks ahead with hope to next year.
More than 100,000 spectators usually gather to watch a fireworks display along the banks of the River Thames when Big Ben strikes midnight, but with London now placed in Tier 4 restrictions and infection rates rising across the city, there will be no public event this year.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has meant we are not able to put on our world-famous public event on the banks of the Thames this year, but it’s important we reflect on and pay tribute to the defining moments of the year and look to 2021 with hope, and that’s why we are replacing it with a unique broadcast on BBC One.
“We know that New Year’s Eve is traditionally an opportunity to show off our great city to the rest of the world, which we will still be doing this year in a show you’ll only be able to watch from home, on the BBC.
“It will be a celebration of hope, but also provide a moment of reflection on the challenges of this year and the way Londoners pulled together.
“Tier 3 restrictions for London remain in place and infection rates are rising once again, which is why there is no public event this year. It’s vital we all continue to stick to the rules to reduce the spread of the virus and I urge Londoners to stay safe by seeing in the new year watching BBC One from the comfort of their home with those they live or are bubbled with.”