Council chiefs have urged people living in Edinburgh to stay indoors on Hogmanay to stop the spread of coronavirus – after scrapping the world-famous street party.
The 75,000 capacity event has put the Scottish capital on the international map for new year celebrations since it was first staged in the mid-1990s.
But this year people living in Edinburgh have been warned against Hogmanay celebrations – being told to stay at home instead.
Police have ruled out restricting access to any parts of the city centre on Hogmanay but are urging people to ‘do the right thing’ and stick to the rules.
The cancellation of the street party in July was said to be a major blow to the city’s economy after summer events fell victim to coronavirus.
Council leaders say a programme of online events has been created, which will be broadcast from December 28 to New Year’s Day – with organisers insisting there will be nothing to see in the city centre.
Donald Wilson, culture convener at the city council, told The Scotsman newspaper: “The best place to celebrate Hogmanay this year will be at home within your household.
“Public safety is and always will be our number one priority.
“Under current guidelines this unfortunately means that any public events, activities or reason for people to gather, such as fireworks or light shows is not possible.
“So let’s be very clear, the message this year is stay home and stay safe.
“The battle against this virus is far from over and we can only hope that next year brings the return to normality that we all hope for.”
Chief Superintendent Sean Scott, divisional commander for Edinburgh, said: “We would advise people to continue to take personal responsibility to do the right thing.
“Celebrate Hogmanay safely by following the regulations on indoor and outdoor gatherings and the Scottish Government’s guidance, which are all designed to stop the virus from spreading and to save lives.
“I’m acutely aware the cancellation of the street party does not mean the cancellation of people’s desire to celebrate.
“I implore everyone to continue to follow the Scottish Government guidance and ensure they mark the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 with members of their own household.
“There are many open spaces and famous gathering points within our great city but please remember that meeting large numbers of people, even if it’s outside, is not permitted.”