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London's Notting Hill Carnival cancelled again because of COVID

London's Notting Hill Carnival cancelled again because of COVID
June 18, 2021

LONDON (Reuters) - Notting Hill Carnival, billed as Europe's biggest street party, has been cancelled for a second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers said on Friday.

"This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make," they said in a statement. "Everyone involved in the event desperately wants a return to the road where Carnival belongs but safety has to come first."

The Notting Hill Carnival traditionally takes place at the end of August.

The organisers said there was too much uncertainty about its feasibility this year after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week delayed the lifting of remaining social distancing rules and said he aimed to remove them on July 19.

Alternative events would take place instead of the massed gatherings of people to watch the street parades and listen to sound systems, the organisers said.

Last year, the event was replaced by an online festival because of the pandemic.

The carnival dates back to 1959 when it was first held indoors as a celebration for Britain's Afro-Caribbean community. Street parades began in 1966 and they typically attract more than a million visitors over the August Bank Holiday weekend.