The nation of Ireland has canceled all St. Patrick’s Day parades, including the massive Dublin festivities, over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
The decision to nix large gatherings for the March 17 holiday was made Monday by a new government subcommittee on the virus, national broadcaster RTE reported.
The celebrations are known for kicking off the country’s tourism season with 500,000 revelers from around the world flooding the country of 4.8 million each year for the various parades in its towns and villages.
The popular Dublin parade alone has been responsible for more than 73 million euros ($83.5 million) in revenue.
But a leading expert called on government officials last week to cancel the parade, arguing that the possibility of the virus spreading was high with visitors traveling from all over the globe.