24.1 C
Port Louis
Sunday, April 14, 2024

Download The App:

Read in French

spot_img

Omicron Dampens Worldwide New Year Celebrations: No Fireworks Display In Some Countries

Must Read

The Omicron coronavirus variant dampened New Year festivities around much of the world, as cities from Paris to Kuala Lumpur cancelled civic celebrations.

The Australian city of Sydney also feted the New Year with something like full swagger, as spectacular fireworks glittered in the harbour above the Opera House. However, in London, where fireworks display and light show had been cancelled in October, officials announced on Friday the spectacle would come to life on the television screen, as Big Ben rang in the New Year for the first time since 2017 following a restoration. The spectacle would come to life on the television screen, as Big Ben rang in the New Year for the first time since 2017 following a restoration.

With New York state reporting more than 74,000 cases on Thursday and 22% of tests coming back positive, some critics wondered whether the celebrations should go ahead at all. The glittering ball was still present at Times Square, but the crowd counting down the year’s exit was a quarter the usual size – masked up, socially distanced, and with vaccine proof in hand.

The midnight hour passed in Paris without a planned fireworks display or DJ sets, as city officials cancelled events planned on the Champs-Elysees following the advice of a scientific panel that declared mass gatherings would be too risky.

Elsewhere around the globe, events were scaled back or cancelled outright, as with the traditional fireworks over the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. In the Netherlands, where outside groupings of more than four people are banned, police dispersed several thousand people who had defiantly gathered at Amsterdam’s central Dam Square, ANP news agency reported.

Elsewhere around the globe, events were scaled back or cancelled outright, as with the traditional fireworks over the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. In the Netherlands, where outside groupings of more than four people are banned, police dispersed several thousand people who had defiantly gathered at Amsterdam’s central Dam Square.

South Africa had first raised the alarm about the new fast-spreading coronavirus variant racing around the world.

Just 15,000 spectators are being allowed into the official viewing area instead of the usual 55,000 or so – still a big upgrade from last year’s audience of a few dozen.

Revellers in Madrid queued for hours to get into the main Puerta del Sol square where celebrations went ahead with multiple security checkpoints, mandatory masks and capacity at 60% of normal levels.

In Asia, celebrations were mostly scaled down or called off. In South Korea, a traditional midnight bell-ringing ceremony was cancelled for the second year, while festivities were banned in Tokyo’s glittering Shibuya entertainment district, and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida took to YouTube to urge people to wear masks and limit numbers at parties.

China, where the coronavirus first emerged in late 2019, was on high alert, with the city of Xian under lockdown and New Year events in other cities cancelled.

- Advertisement -spot_img

More Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles