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San Francisco postpone St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival

The United Irish Societies of San Francisco have postponed the San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, due to Coronavirus restrictions imposed by the City and County of San Francisco.

Mr Patrick Hayes, a resident of California and an annual visitor here, to his past roots in Loughmore, Thurles, Co.Tipperary reports:-

The 2020 San Francisco Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival has been postponed. The permits for the Parade and the Festival; both scheduled for Saturday, March 14th, 2020, were cancelled by the City and County of San Francisco on Friday, March 6th, 2020, as part of a series of measures designed to reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

It is the understanding of the United Irish Societies of San Francisco (UISSF); latter which organizes the Parade and Festival each year, that all other large public gatherings in the city have also had their permits revoked.

A press release sent out by the San Francisco Department of Public Health stated “We expect these measures to be in place for an initial period of two weeks, and we will continuously assess their impact to determine if they need to be adjusted.”

Mr Liam Frost, President of the UISSF, said “While we understand the disappointment of thousands who participate in the Parade each year, and of the thousands who come to watch this great San Francisco tradition and who look forward to attending the Festival at Civic Center afterward, we want to stress that we wholeheartedly support the City and County of San Francisco, Mayor Breed, and the Department of Public Health in their efforts to keep us all safe. Good health is the most important thing any of us have, and we all hope and pray that the threat posed by Coronavirus will soon become a thing of the past.

Mr Frost continued, “We encourage everyone, Irish or otherwise, to take good care of themselves and others and to follow the guidelines for personal care issued by the Department of Public Health. Please stay safe.”

Mr Frost went on to say “It is important for everyone to know that we have postponed this year’s parade, not cancelled it. The Parade committee of the UISSF will meet in the coming days to discuss possible ways forward. It is fully our intention to hold the Parade and Festival at some point later in the year. The exact date will be dependent on the success of efforts to contain and combat the Coronavirus, and we will be guided by the City & County of San Francisco in that decision.”

“In the meantime,” Mr Frost continued, “Please try and enjoy Saint Patrick’s Day in the best way you can. We are thankful for everyone involved in the effort to defeat Coronavirus on a local, national and global level. Our thoughts and prayers are for their success.”

Should we, here in Co. Tipperary and nationally, be banning large gatherings, as part of a series of measures designed to reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed yesterday afternoon that there is currently no recommendation to cancel large gatherings, including St. Patrick’s Day parades.

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