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Pictured: How coronavirus pandemic changed Belfast's St Patrick's Day celebrations

Comparing Belfast before and after Covid-19: Use the slider to reveal pictures taken on the same day in 2020 (left) and 2019 (right)

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Composite image from 2020 and 2019 in Belfast as St Patrick's celebrations are cancelled amid COVID-19 fears on March 17th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Composite image from 2020 and 2019 in Belfast as St Patrick's celebrations are cancelled amid COVID-19 fears on March 17th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Composite image from 2020 and 2019 in Belfast as St Patrick's celebrations are cancelled amid COVID-19 fears on March 17th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

It's a day which had been due to attract thousands of visitors, but St Patrick's Day in Belfast was a very different scene this year.

Streets usually thronged with people at landmarks like City Hall were empty on Tuesday after the usual celebrations were cancelled due to coronavirus fears.

It comes just a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced stringent social distancing measures, including advice to avoid pubs and clubs which usually experience one of their busiest days of the year on St Patrick's Day.

Meanwhile, another ten cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in Northern Ireland on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases here to 62.

Belfast's St Patrick's Day parade and concert were cancelled last week as a precaution due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus, along with Ireland's biggest parade in Dublin.

Lord Mayor of Belfast Daniel Baker said: "Our St Patrick's Day celebrations are always hugely anticipated and a great day out for people right across the city, so it's obviously very disappointing that this year's event will not go ahead as planned.

"The decision to postpone this year's event has been taken as a precaution given members' and the public's concern around coronavirus."

While Mr Baker used the word "postpone" in making the announcement, council later confirmed that there were no plans to reschedule the event to a future date.

More than 500,000 people had been expected to travel to Ireland for St Patrick's Day parades and festivals.

Belfast Telegraph