The City of Mississauga announced it has cancelled New Year’s Eve celebrations in light of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
Officials said the anticipated fireworks and evening festivities at Celebration Square are being shuttered “in response to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases.”
“This was a really tough decision to make but absolutely necessary to keep our residents safe,” said Jodi Robillos, Commissioner, Community Services.
“When we made the decision to host New Year’s Eve, the situation with COVID-19 was much more stable. New Year’s Eve events at Celebration Square have drawn very large crowds. With the current situation of COVID-19 cases, now is not the time to be gathering in massive groups.”
Not all hope is lost, though.
The city says the outdoor skating rink at the Square will remain open until 11 p.m., with food trucks operating on site. Robillos encourages anyone who attends the Square at night to head home after closing time to “ring in the New Year safely.”
Residents can set off their own fireworks, but city officials say that requires a permit, even on private property.
Peel Region has seen a recent spike in daily COVID-19 infections, reporting 1,113 cases on December 24 — the highest one-day total since last April.
Globally, communal celebrations including New Year’s fireworks, which usually draw crowds of thousands in Brussels, are off. Nightclubs are closed, and restaurants and bars must shut their doors at 11 p.m.
In Britain, there are similar moves. Scotland closed its nightclubs Monday. Northern Ireland and Wales did so on Sunday, though they remain open in England.
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