Public events for Edinburgh’s Christmas festivals have been cancelled over coronavirus concerns, organisers have announced.
Edinburgh City Council and event producers Underbelly said in a statement that any event which could attract a gathering or crowd would be avoided, including market stalls, rides and “all other attractions”.
They said the decision followed the “latest advice” from public health experts and that Edinburgh’s Christmas events would move online.
Previously, organisers had hoped to have a reduced event in the city centre but said: “It is now clear that the best place to experience Edinburgh’s Christmas and Hogmanay will be from home.”
Underbelly also organises the city’s Hogmanay festival and earlier announced tickets for the traditional street party had been withdrawn.
City council leader Adam McVey said: “Following the latest restrictions and through the development of plans, it became apparent that activities for Christmas were not going to be possible.
“Christmas is a special time in our city and hugely exciting for individuals and families who take advantage of the city’s winter offer.
“Whilst we understand the absence of popular events will bring some disappointment, we want to be clear that Edinburgh’s Christmas isn’t cancelled and our businesses right across the city will be offering their usual festive cheer for us to take advantage of.
“We look forward to announcing details of an innovative digital 2020 programme soon to help in these celebrations.”
Underbelly director Charlie Wood said: “Public health is our absolute number one priority, and with the ongoing uncertainty concerning Covid-19 and the possibility of further restrictions, we have taken the collective and very sad decision with the council, NHS Lothian and Scottish Government not to proceed with this year’s Edinburgh’s Christmas sites in the city centre.
“There will be no public events which might encourage gatherings of people at either Edinburgh’s Christmas or Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.”
Details of the new plans for both events are expected to be announced in coming weeks.