Auckland Lantern Festival cancelled after region moves to alert level 3

5:01 pm on 28 February 2021

The Auckland Lantern Festival has been cancelled this year after the region moved to alert level 3 this morning.

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The event can only go ahead at alert level 1. Photo: 123rf

It comes after two new community Covid-19 cases were announced in a press conference last night.

The event can only go ahead at alert level 1 and with Auckland at alert level 3 for the first three days of the festival, the decision was made to cancel the event.

It was originally scheduled for 25-28 February and postponed to 4-7 March.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says it's disappointing that the Auckland Lantern Festival has had to be cancelled, but he says it's necessary given the recent cases of Covid-19 in the community.

"The Auckland Lantern Festival is one of the biggest celebrations of our Chinese communities and it's a real shame that it can't go ahead this year," he said in a statement.

"However, given the uncertain situation with new and more transmissible variants of Covid-19 being detected in the community, a precautionary approach is warranted. I look forward to being able to celebrate the Lantern Festival when it returns next year."

Auckland Unlimited's Head of Major Events, Richard Clarke, said the reality is that they're operating in an ever-changing environment.

"We are naturally disappointed that the festival can't proceed, following the initial postponement to give ourselves every chance to deliver the event."

"We would like to acknowledge the hard work of the Lantern Festival team, the performers and stallholders, sponsors, and every person involved in the planning of the event this year."

Anyone who has pre-booked their tickets for the festival do not need to do anything - all tickets will automatically be cancelled at no cost.