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Tourism body confirms Dublin cancels New Year’s Eve party because of Covid-19

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Stephen Donnelly

Stephen Donnelly

Stephen Donnelly

New Year’s Eve celebrations to ring in 2021 in Dublin have been cancelled, an Irish tourism body has confirmed.

Failte Ireland said in a statement that the decision was made in conjunction with Dublin City Council due to public health guidance.

“In line with the Government’s current Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021 Plan, Failte Ireland, in conjunction with Dublin City Council and their event partners, has taken the decision to cancel the New Year’s Festival (NYF) in Dublin,” the statement read.

Failte Ireland stated that approximately 110,000 people took part in the festival across three days, with the fireworks display in particular a popular element of the festival, attracting up to 80,000 attendees.

“Given these numbers it is clear that the event would not fall within current Government and public health guidance and it would not be appropriate to encourage people to congregate in these numbers,” the statement continued.

This news will come as another blow to the tourism and hospitality sectors in Dublin that have been decimated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Belfast does not hold annual New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Yesterday, the Irish Minister for Health said that he and the acting chief medical officer are “cautiously optimistic” that tighter restrictions in Dublin are working.

Stephen Donnelly said the vast majority of people in Dublin are following the public health restrictions put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The stricter measures in place in the capital include a ban on indoor social gatherings; a requirement for pubs and restaurants to only serve food outdoors, while travel in and out of the county has been limited to work, education and essential purposes.

Mr Donnelly said public health experts tracking the spread of Covid-19 in Ireland need the seven-day rate of the virus to be less than half of the 14-day rate.

Dublin’s 14-day incidence rate is 147 positive cases per 100,000 population, while its seven-day rate is 78.

“What we want to start seeing is the seven-day rate becomes less than half of the 14-day rate and that shows that it is plateauing,” Mr Donnelly told RTE.

“The chief medical officer (Dr Ronan Glynn) and I have been speaking on exactly this point over the weekend, we will be cautiously optimistic as we must always be, but it is very early days.”

Belfast Telegraph