SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed and city leaders announced Tuesday that this year's New Year's Eve fireworks show has been canceled due to the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases.
According to health officials, the community spread of the omicron variant still poses a significant risk. Plus, with the recent increase in holiday travel and gatherings, health officials say they are taking the necessary and precautionary measures to avoid the spread of this COVID variant.
Many say it's another blow to struggling businesses.
"I think it's a huge bummer," said tourist Brian Denham.
For the second year in a row, there will be no New Year's Eve fireworks over San Francisco Bay.
The city canceled the show due to the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases and the omicron variant.
The Department of Emergency Management tweeted:
"After closely monitoring local health indicators, the decision to cancel is a proactive measure that will best protect San Francisco and essential front line workers."
We respect the decision, we just don't like it," said Randall Scott, Executive Director of Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefit District.
Scott says bars and restaurants on Fisherman's Wharf were counting on extra business from thousands of New Year's Eve revelers, after a tough two year struggle with the pandemic.
"I do respect those people who are in the Public Health Department, we have to abide by the rules, it just hurts, it hurts," Scott said.
The Red and White Fleet has sold tickets for a New Year's Eve fireworks cruise, a fleet spokesperson told us off camera, it's re-assessing the situation and may issue refunds to passengers.
"I think people were really looking forward to seeing fireworks this New Year's Eve," said Bob Partrite.
Pier 39 restaurant CEO Bob Partrite says he decided last month to close his six eateries early on the 31st.
"We made the decision crowds may still not be the thing, let's close at 9 p.m. and let our staff get home before the new year rings in," said Partrite.
Shane and Hannah came from England to celebrate the start of 2022, hoping to see some San Francisco fireworks.
"There's a part of me that thinks, 'why should we be stopping big events like this that make us happy,'" said Hannah Plaisted.
"I think it's a good choice, we don't want too many people in one area," it's good idea, yeah," said Shane Steele.
Mayor Breed says she understands the disappointment, but that's it's not worth the risk.
"While we are all understandably eager to ring in a new year with San Francisco's customary New Year's Eve fireworks show, we must remain vigilant in doing all we can to stop the spread of the COVID-19 omicron variant," said Mayor Breed. "Thanks to our employee vaccine mandate, our public safety workers are well-protected against COVID, but they still must take all precautions to help limit the spread. By canceling the New Year's Eve fireworks show we are reducing everyone's exposure to COVID-19, while ensuring continuity of citywide public safety operations."
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