London welcomes 2022 New Year with a stunning firework display

Published on : Saturday, January 1, 2022

Koko

Many Londoners were left disappointed after it was initially reported the fireworks were being cancelled due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. However, the firework display was given the green light with just hours to go before midnight, after being axed for the second year in a row in October.

It is thought that studies showing that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is milder than previous variants have influenced this decision.

City Hall bosses had reportedly tried to keep the plans under wraps so as not to attract hoards of onlookers, who could potentially spread the virus.

Many Londoners were left disappointed after it was initially reported the fireworks were being cancelled due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. However, the firework display was given the green light with just hours to go before midnight, after being axed for the second year in a row in October.

It is thought that studies showing that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is milder than previous variants have influenced this decision.

City Hall bosses had reportedly tried to keep the plans under wraps so as not to attract hoards of onlookers, who could potentially spread the virus.

Big Ben helped ring in the New Year for the first time since 2017 after a restoration.

“As Big Ben’s chimes ring out around us, signalling a year that’s new, raise a glass, turn up the volume and welcome 2022,” Terera said.

“And as we share this midnight moment, and imagine all that’s still to come, let’s relish the magnificent things we achieved in 2021.

“We rallied around our NHS heroes as they rolled out the vaccination, and we stood beside our Three Lions, heads raised and proud, united together as a nation.”

The annual fireworks display on the banks of the River Thames, usually attended by up to 100,000 people, was cancelled by London Mayor Sadiq Khan earlier this year, with City Hall citing the “uncertainty” caused by the pandemic.

Amid the backdrop of record daily case rates, leaders in all four nations of the UK urged people to celebrate cautiously and test themselves before heading out.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, told that people should not meet in large groups and avoid risky behaviour.

The crowds were reported in Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square ahead of midnight, with fencing installed around the perimeter of the former tourist attraction to prevent people from gathering inside the landmark.

While Prime Minister Boris Johnson has so far held off on introducing further COVID restrictions on top of the current “Plan B” measures, the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have gone further.

Hogmanay celebrations were cancelled across Scotland, including in Edinburgh, with people urged to stay at home and limit how many people they met up with.

 But despite this, around 1,000 people climbed to the top of Calton Hill to countdown the final seconds of 2021.

Nightclubs have been closed in the three devolved nations, but they remain open in England. There were reports of people in Wales and Scotland heading over the border into England to take advantage of the comparative lack of restrictions there for New Year’s Eve.

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