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How the world celebrated NYE

The world began celebrating the end of a hellish 2020 and welcomed in the New Year Thursday, with COVID restrictions dampening celebrations for billions of people. Sydney’s annual fireworks spectacular was reduced to a single 7-minute show that was enjoyed around the world.“You can bet all the kangaroos and koalas are having a party down…

The world began celebrating the end of a hellish 2020 and welcomed in the New Year Thursday, with COVID restrictions dampening celebrations for billions of people.

Sydney’s annual fireworks spectacular was reduced to a single 7-minute show that was enjoyed around the world.

“You can bet all the kangaroos and koalas are having a party down there tonight,” joked a Fox News anchor as the network showed the start of the display

From Sydney to Rome, firework displays, pyre burnings and live performances will be watched online or on television – if they have not been cancelled altogether.

Auckland was the first major city to put on a show with a spectacular fireworks display from the city’s SkyTower after the Pacific nations of Kiribati and Samoa led the world’s march into 2020. Virus-free New Zealand was one of the few major cities where residents could celebrate with only limited restrictions.

Sydney will stage a 7-minute fireworks show on the harbour at midnight AEDT with people banned from crowding the usual vantage points around the city. Melboune has canned the light show for this year and instead put on a laneways food festival.

There was a large police presence at the popular St Kilda beach, where plenty of younger people still enjoyed the night.

But one man was arrested as his friends continued to argue with police.

There were no 9pm family fireworks or activities around Sydney Harbour this year with few spectators able to be there to watch in person.

Plans to allow crowds were scrapped amid a cluster of around 150 new infections that have seen travel to and from Sydney severely restricted.

But in Queensland, fireworks went ahead for happy crowds at the popular Redcliffe beach.

The spectacular fireworks continued in Queensland at the Gold Coast where large crowds gathered at Labrador for the light show.

USA

In New York, for the first time in decades Times Square will be closed to the public on New Year’s Eve. Instead, dozens of frontline workers and their families will be honoured with spots near the stage.

President-elect Joe Biden and soon-to-be first lady Jill Biden will appear on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021” for their final interview of 2020.

American Idol host Seacrest will interview the Bidens for the New Year’s celebration show, which airs live at 8pm. EST on ABC. They will discuss “hope, unity and best wishes for the year ahead,” ABC and Dick Clark Productions announced Wednesday in a news release.

The UK

In England, a series of illegal New Year’s Eve raves is being secretly planned across tier four London, a Sun Online investigation can reveal.

Tier 4 restrictions mean people are supposed to stay home and not meet up with other households.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the events which could send COVID spreading even faster through the capital.

In hard-hit London, 74-year-old American singer-songwriter Patti Smith will ring in the New Year with a tribute to National Health Service workers who have died from COVID-19, projected on the screen at Piccadilly Circus and streamed on YouTube.

EUROPE

Romans will live-stream the burning of an enormous pyre in Circus Maximus, the ancient city’s stadium, alongside a two-hour event featuring artist performances and illuminated views of iconic sites.

Italy, where shocking images of makeshift morgues and exhausted medics awoke the world to the severity of the crisis, is on a nationwide lockdown until January 7 and a 10pm curfew is in place.

In France, police and military personnel are being deployed to make sure night-time curfews or bans on large gatherings are enforced.

In hard-hit London, 74-year-old American singer-songwriter Patti Smith will ring in the New Year with a tribute to National Health Service workers who have died from COVID-19, projected on the screen at Piccadilly Circus and streamed on YouTube.

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