Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and other events cancelled as rules tightened

New measures to tackle rising Covid case numbers were set out at Holyrood on Tuesday.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and other events cancelled as rules tightened iStock

Hogmanay events across Scotland have been cancelled after it was announced that Covid rules are to be tightened.

In a statement at Holyrood on Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon set out new measures to halt rising case numbers.

Amongst those, the First Minister said that limits will be placed on the size of public events from Boxing Day.

It means that indoor standing events will be limited to 100 people, indoor seated events to 200 people, and limited to 500 people for outdoor events which are seated or standing.

Physical distancing of one metre will also be required at events that go ahead with those limits.

As the First Minister set out the steps being taken, it was confirmed that events including Edinburgh’s Hogmanay would not go ahead.

Underbelly co-directors, Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, said: “We are incredibly sad to announce the cancellation of the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme for 2021 following new restrictions announced by Scottish Government today.

“After such a tough year for so many people, we were looking forward to helping bring people back together safely at Edinburgh’s iconic Hogmanay celebrations.

“We know this news will be disappointing for so many people, but we also know that Edinburgh is a wonderfully innovative and resilient city, and we know it will recover from these difficult times and return to the forefront of the world’s new year celebrations in the future”.

Chief superintendent Phil Davison, gold commander for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay policing operation, said that Police Scotland supports the actions taken by event organisers and the local authority.

“As a result of the continued rise in Covid cases, linked to the Omicron variant, the Torchlight Procession, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Party at the Bells, and the Loony Dook cancellations are an appropriate response in order to help stop the spread of the virus and protect the NHS,” he said.

“This decision was not taken by Police Scotland, but we fully support the actions taken by the event organisers and the local authority.

“We would ask that those who had been planning to attend these events do not make their way to the city centre and instead celebrate the New Year in line with the existing guidelines.”

In a statement, Aberdeen City Council announced the Hogmanay Street Party has been cancelled.

They said: “Aberdeen City Council regrets to announce that this year’s Hogmanay Street Party has been cancelled.

“Steps had been taken to ensure that this event would be able to continue safely, however due to rising Covid-19 cases and in response to the latest Scottish Government rules, the event will no longer go ahead on public safety grounds.”

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