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New Year’s Eve fireworks display and entertainment have been cancelled in Wanaka and Queenstown because of Covid-19.

The cancellations are the latest in a series of local events to have been called off this year because of uncertainty about operating under the new traffic light system.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council put out a statement on Monday announcing the cancellations and encouraging residents and visitors instead to celebrate New Year’s Eve by patronising local bars, restaurants and cafes.

QLDC arts and events facilitator Jan Maxwell acknowledged many people would be disappointed but said she hoped people would understand the complexities of planning events under the Government’s Covid-19 protection framework.

“I’m gutted we won’t be putting on our usual shows in Queenstown and Wanaka, but making the decision now gives certainty to our suppliers as well as local businesses and members of the public, who have time to find other ways to celebrate with friends and family.

“We hope for many it will be an opportunity to enjoy the occasion at local bars and restaurants and support our district’s hospitality sector, which has been doing it tough of late,

The council, police and the Red Frogs support service for young people will continue to monitor and provide security on both lakefronts between December 29 and 31.

Additional toilet facilities will also be put in place.

The programme for the Wanaka and Queenstown Summerdaze festival in January will be released soon.