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Pride

Coronavirus has just claimed its first major UK Pride festival

Josh Milton March 17, 2020
Pride Edinburgh – the stalwart of Scotland's LGBT+ celebrations – has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Stewart Kirby/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Pride Edinburgh – the stalwart of Scotland's LGBT+ celebrations – has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Stewart Kirby/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Scotland’s Pride calendar suffered a devastating blow after Pride Edinburgh organisers announced Tuesday evening that the celebration will be cancelled, citing the swelling coronavirus pandemic.

For the last 24 years, the Pride parade has transformed the dull tones of the city’s cobblestone streets into a kaleidoscopic display of Edinburgh’s diversity.

But with the COVID-19 outbreak threatening Britain’s most vulnerable, organisers said in a letter on Twitter that, “with a heavy heart”, the June 13 event, what would have been its 25th, was cancelled.

Pride Edinburgh 25 postponed to ‘2021’, say organisers. 

“We, the organisers of Pride Edinburgh, were so excited to bring a colourful celebration to the capital city to mark our 25th anniversary,” the letter said.

“Over the last few weeks, we have been in talks with the government, partners and sponsors as well as internally to work out the best course of action for this year’s event.

“It is with a heavy heart that through this letter we announce that Pride Edinburgh 2020 is cancelled.

“This decision was not taken lightly. The most up-to-date advice regarding coronavirus is that those who are at serious risk of infection should self-isolate for 12 weeks.

“This period would surpass our scheduled event date.

“Additionally, we have no guarantee that restrictions around general isolation, as well as advice for large events, will be lifted by the 13th of June.”

Organisers stressed that Pride has now been postponed to 2021 and a new date will be pinned down soon.

It’s the latest dent that the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt the LGBT+ community, as queer venue owners grapple with the effects that the government’s advise that the public does not visit pubs and clubs puts LGBT+ spaces, many on threadbare budgets, in jeopardy.

British premier Boris Johnson slapped tougher measures to contain the coronavirus, but shied away from shutting down businesses. (Richard Pohle - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
British premier Boris Johnson slapped tougher measures to contain the coronavirus, but shied away from shutting down businesses. (Richard Pohle – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Delicate and bristled with spikes, the coronavirus strain that is choking the world first emerged in December 2019 and was tracked down to Wuhan’s busy seafood and livestock market.

After slipping into the UK earlier this year, the nation’s public health service and lawmakers have been stampeded since. Cases of the coronavirus  – vastly held down for weeks – have rocketed to more than 1,500 on Monday.

More: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Pride Edinburgh, Scotland

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