Following the announcement by the Irish government to implement stricter restrictions on social interaction to stop the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 St. Patrick's Festival has canceled its Festival Cultural Programme.

Following a government announcement, made by Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar, from Washington DC on Thursday, March 12 2020 the St Patrick's Day Festival has canceled their Festival Cultural Programme.

The announcement comes just days after the St. Patrick's Festival was forced to cancel the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin as "mass gatherings" were called off following the recommendations from an Irish government sub-committee monitoring Coronavirus COVID-19.

On Thursday they released the following statement:

"St. Patrick’s Festival, Dublin today announces the cancellation of our Festival Cultural Programme.

"We have taken this decision in line with the wider actions being taken in response to the constantly changing nature of the global health crisis.

"We are acting in the best interests of public health and safety and in an effort to play our part in the nationwide efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. 

"While extremely disappointing, our paramount commitment is to the wellbeing of our artists and participants, our audiences and communities and our own Festival team.

"It is very important to note, that the Festival’s Cultural Programme is made up of in-house St. Patrick’s Festival events, as well as many events that are presented by external partners.

"While the Festival’s own events are being canceled, other events that appear in the program may still be proceeding and we support the individual decisions of all our partners regarding their own events.

"Please see for further details on canceled events."

Read more: Irish leader announces COVID-19 shutdown to begin in Ireland