Sept. 18 (UPI) -- London has canceled its annual New Year's Eve fireworks show, with the mayor saying Friday the city can't afford to allow large crowds to gather for such an event.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said the impact of COVID-19 is still too great at this point to go ahead with plans for the traditional celebration, which usually attracts thousands to watch along the Thames River on the night of Dec. 31.
"We simply can't afford to have the numbers of people who congregate on New Year's Eve, congregating," Khan said in a radio interview. "What we are working on is to do something that people can enjoy in the comfort and safety of their living rooms on TV."
The mayor indicated that something will replace the fireworks show.
"I'll be letting Londoners and people across the country know," he said.
"We can't afford to lose that slot because New Year's Eve is a really great opportunity for the rest of the world to see how wonderful our city is. Particularly during a recession we need to continue investment in our city and people coming to London."
Britain is experiencing an uptick of coronavirus cases. Another 3,400 were reported Thursday.
The country has seen 381,000 cases and 42,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.