Dublin's New Year celebrations for 2021 have been cancelled because of Covid-19.

In a statement, Fáilte Ireland said the decision was made in conjunction with Dublin City Council due to public health guidance.

The tourism body pointed out that 110,000 people attended last year's New Year Festival across three days with 80,000 alone at the fireworks display.

"Given these numbers, it is clear that the event would not fall within the current Government and public health guidance and it would not be appropriate to encourage people to congregate in these numbers."

Fáilte Ireland also announced the setting up of a new body to "bring life back into Dublin City" over the winter.

The Destination Recovery Taskforce will gather together a number of businesses and organisations involved in the hospitality industry because of the "incredibly difficult challenges" in recent weeks.

The taskforce will examine ways to "drive footfall" in the capital while staying within public health guidelines.

The Irish Hotels' Federation (IHF) said the weekly rate of new bookings for hotels across Ireland has plummeted by 67% since the new Level 3 restrictions were introduced in Dublin on 15 September.

It said this representes an "enormous blow" to Irish tourism at a time when the sector is struggling under immense financial difficulties.

IHF President Elaina Fitzgerald Kane said: "It is now 'make or break' time. Urgent and unprecedented intervention from the Government is required to support tourism businesses and safeguard thousands of jobs throughout the sector.

"This must form a central plank of the Budget due to be announced next month."