By Annie Driver
Liverpool has joined other cities such as London and Birmingham among others in postponing their St. Patrick’s plans due to the coronavirus.
This news comes as the government are drafting new emergency legislation which will include restrictions on mass gathering. NHS England confirmed the death toll doubled overnight on Friday reporting a further ten deaths bringing the mortality rate in the U.K. to 21.
Liverpool St Patricks Day Parade Committee released a statement saying: “Unfortunately, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the banning of mass gatherings from next week, we have decided to POSTPONE the proposed St Patricks Day Parade in Liverpool on 17 March until further notice.
“We aim to reschedule the parade when the threat of the virus is not as high as it currently is, we aim this to be in the May/June/July period.
“We know this is disappointing news, but the safety of the public has to come first and we have followed the government’s guidelines throughout the whole of this outbreak.
“It is with a heavy heart, but it is also not the end. We will definitely re-schedule this parade when it is safe though and we hope you all keep safe and look after each other in this terrible time!”
The Irish Centre in Liverpool also released a statement: “Given recent developments and with the latest government and healthcare advice, we have with a heavy heart made the decision to postpone our St Patrick’s Day entertainment until later in the year, perhaps in September.
“We shall still be open from 12pm on the day and our bar and shop will be open tomorrow as per our usual opening hours.
“Once again we apologise for any inconvenience caused but we must act in the best interests of our employees and community.
“It’s now more important than ever to think about others. Our older, vulnerable neighbours might need help going out to the shops, or they might not be able to stockpile like everyone else. Let’s look after each other, look out for one another and get through this together”.
Popular pubs and bars such as Kelly’s, The Liffey, McCooley’s, Langigan’s, O’Neill’s and the Irish House are yet to comment but they are under no obligation to close under current government guidelines.