Ireland has canceled all St. Patrick’s Day 2020 parades, including the huge celebrations in Dublin, over fears about coronavirus transmission. A new government commission on the virus made the decision to nix large gatherings for the March 17 holiday.
“Due to the unique nature and scale of the St Patrick’s Day festivities, in terms of size, the mass gathering of local and international travelers, and the continued progression of community transmission in some European countries, along with the emergence of a small number of cases of local transmission in Ireland, the Government has decided that St Patrick’s Day parades, including the Dublin parade, will not proceed,” the government said in a statement.
The St Patrick’s Day parades had already been postponed during a foot and mouth disease outbreak in 2001.
Ireland’s rugby union with France in Paris was postponed earlier Monday after the French government excluded more than 1,000 people from all public gatherings.
Another scheduled game in the Dublin tournament between Ireland and Italy was postponed last month for reasons of public health.
Yesterday, Irish budget airline Ryanair announced the cessation of domestic flights from and to Northern Italy’s virus-hit areas and a cut in international flights to the region.