2020 finally ending, but New Year’s revelries muted by virus

2020 finally ending, but New Year's revelries muted by virus

CANBERRA – This New Yr’s Eve is being celebrated like no different, with pandemic restrictions limiting crowds and many individuals bidding farewell to a yr they’d desire to neglect.

Australia can be among the many first nations to ring in 2021 due to its proximity to the Worldwide Date Line. In previous years 1 million individuals crowded Sydney’s harbor to look at fireworks that heart on the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

Authorities this yr are advising revelers to look at on tv. Persons are solely allowed in downtown Sydney if they’ve a restaurant reservation or are one among 5 visitors of an inner-city house resident. Folks gained’t be allowed within the metropolis heart with no allow.

Some haborside eating places are charging as much as 1,690 Australian {dollars} ($1,294) for a seat, Sydney’s The Each day Telegraph newspaper reported Wednesday.

Sydney is Australia’s most populous metropolis and has its most energetic neighborhood transmission of COVID-19 in current weeks.

Melbourne, Australia’s second-most populous metropolis, has cancelled its fireworks this yr.

“For the primary time in lots of, a few years we made the massive choice, troublesome choice to cancel the fireworks,” Melbourne Mayor Sally Capp stated.

“We did that as a result of we all know that it attracts as much as 450,000 individuals into the town for one second at midnight to get pleasure from a spectacular show and music. We’re not doing that this yr,” she added.

New Zealand, which is 2 hours forward of Sydney, and several other of its South Pacific island neighbors haven’t any COVID-19, and New Yr celebrations there are the identical as ever.

In Chinese language societies, the Lunar New Yr celebration that falls in February in 2021 typically takes priority over photo voltaic New Yr, on Jan. 1. Whereas celebrations of the Western vacation have been rising extra widespread in current many years, this yr can be extra muted.

Beijing will maintain a countdown ceremony with just some invited visitors, whereas different deliberate occasions have been cancelled. And nighttime temperatures plunging to -15 Celsius (- 5 Fahrenheit) will probably discourage individuals from spending the night time out with associates.

Taiwan will host its typical New Yr’s celebration, a fireworks show by its capital metropolis’s iconic tower, Taipei 101, in addition to a flag-raising ceremony in entrance of the Presidential Workplace Constructing the subsequent morning. The island has been a hit story within the pandemic, registering solely 7 deaths and 700 confirmed instances of COVID-19.

Hong Kong, with its British colonial historical past and huge expatriate inhabitants, has often seen raucous celebrations alongside the waterfront and in bar districts. For the second yr operating, nevertheless, New Yr’s Eve fireworks have been cancelled, this time over coronavirus relatively than public safety issues.

Nonetheless roiled by its coronavirus outbreak, Hong Kong social distancing laws prohibit gatherings to solely two individuals. Eating places have to shut by 6 p.m. Reside performances and dancing should not allowed. However crowds nonetheless throng purchasing facilities.

In Japan, some individuals skipped what’s typically an opportunity to return to ancestral houses for the vacations, hoping to reduce well being dangers for prolonged households amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Rural eating places noticed enterprise drop, whereas residence deliveries of conventional New Yr’s “good luck” meals referred to as “osechi” boomed.

Emperor Naruhito is delivering a video message for the brand new yr, as an alternative of waving from a window with the imperial household as cheering crowds throng the palace.

Prepare providers that often carry individuals on shrine visits in a single day Dec. 31, in addition to some countdown ceremonies, have been cancelled.

Meiji Shrine in downtown Tokyo, which attracts tens of millions of individuals yearly throughout New Yr holidays and is often open all night time on New Yr’s Eve, will shut its doorways at 4 p.m. on Dec. 31 this yr, the shrine introduced on its web site.

In South Korea, Seoul’s metropolis authorities has cancelled its annual New Yr’s Eve bell-ringing ceremony within the Jongno neighborhood for the primary time because it first held the occasion in 1953, months after the top of the Korean Conflict.

The occasion, by which residents ring a big bell at a conventional pavilion when the clock strikes twelve, drew an estimated 100,000 individuals and was broadcast dwell.

Authorities in japanese coastal areas say they’ll shut seashores and different spots the place a whole bunch of hundreds of individuals usually collect on New Yr’s Day to look at the dawn.

The southeastern metropolis of Pohang says it as an alternative plans to broadcast dwell the dawn at a number of seashores underneath its jurisdiction on its YouTube channel on Jan. 1.

Earlier this week, South Korea’s central authorities stated it’s going to ban personal social gatherings of greater than 5 individuals and shut down ski resorts and main vacationer spots nationwide from Christmas Eve till Jan. 3 as efforts to carry a current viral resurgence underneath management.


Related Press journalists Huizhong Wu in Taipei, Taiwan, Raf Wober in Hong Kong, Mary Yamaguchi and Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo, and Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2020 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed with out permission.

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