The year 2020 kickstarted in a traditional way with dancing lights on Burj Khalifah, fireworks at Thames, and crowds gathered at Times Square cheering with the drop of crystal ball. However new year’s eve celebration in 2021 will not be the same due to pandemic.
This year 2020 witnessed several tragic events with Covid 19 pandemic being the major one. It is due to coronavirus that the world will not be able to welcome 2021 in the same manner as witnessed in previous years.
Europe is currently facing a second wave of coronavirus pandemic due to which there are several lockdowns and restrictions in place. Here are these iconic locations which will have to modify how they put on a show each year:
New Year’s Eve Celebration At Sydney Harbor Bridge
Australia has gone through horrific bushfires from 2019 to 2020 so in regard to firefighting efforts, Sydney Harbor Bridge will have a different firework show in new year’s eve celebration event.
The government has banned people from gathering at Sydney Harbor Bridge to watch new year’s fireworks. The event that gathered more than 1 million people will now show only on TV screens for those who live in the harbor side area and their families.
Normally there would be a show for kids at 9 PM which will not happen this year. Main midnight firework lasted for 12 minutes and used to cost more than 6 million USD to the Australian government. Reportedly, this year the cost and duration of the event will be much lower than previous ones. The event looked like this before the pandemic:
For private parties at home and outdoor, Sydney has issued strict set of SOPs. Besides from usual coronavirus protection techniques, total number of people at these places are also restricted. Reportedly, only 30 – 50 guests will be allowed at homes with large public gatherings able to host only 100 guests.
Those who live in the city side, away from harbor side, can only invite maximum 10 people to their homes. And those guests would require a permit to enter specified area.
One of the biggest new year’s eve celebration happens on the Copacabana beach. People dance and party while watching fireworks for 14 minutes. This year none of that will happen due to rising Covid cases in Brazil that have reached more than 7.5 million.
Citizens will get to watch a lite version of show and performances online without spectators. Rio Carnival that happens in February has also been cancelled for the first time since 1912.
London Fireworks on New Year
The Thames has hosted one of the world’s wildest celebrations along the river bank for the past two decades. Around 100,000 spectators come to witness the grand show of 2000 fireworks lighting up the skies in different ways to the best music beats of the year. Unfortunately, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has canceled the annual show in September. There is a strict coronavirus plan since Boxing day and no public gatherings are allowed in the capital. The level of security has been even higher after Christmas. Total cases have reached 378,925 in the last 14 days and the country is under tier 4 lockdown. All large gatherings inside and outside are completely banned.
New York Times Square
There have also been few changes in the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop at Times Square. Traditionally, at 11:59 PM the crystal ball drops from the top of New York Times building to the streets of a bright and colorful intersection, while hundreds of thousands of people gather around to see the spectacle. However, due to outrageous virus situation is the US, only handful of people will get to see the show live. These people will mostly include some medical professionals and first responders.
Everyone else will get to watch this small-scale ball drop on TV. The police have blocked the Times Square for pubic but New York is providing some new digital features to enjoy the new year’s eve firework celebration this year. There will be a new ball made up of Waterford Crystal triangles with more than 30,000 LED lights. This structure will perhaps enhance the digital experience for those watching online
The huge party on streets will not be a part of ball drop this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. The virus has infected 19,804,313 Americans by now with no end in sight.
New year’s party in Dubai has always been huge and authorities confirmed that this year will also be the same. However, this year will obviously include COVID-19 measures as well. As usual, world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa will be the center for new year’s eve celebration
Attendees are required to practice social distancing as much as possible and wear face masks. Any person with symptoms of flu or cough must avoid attending the events. In private parties, the number of guests has been limited to 30 with a space big enough to give each individual 4 square-meter area. There are severe fines for those who violate public health and safety concerns. Reportedly, in case of SOP violation, host would have to pay 50,000 AED while attendees would pay 15,000 AED each.
The popular street party at waterfront Quai du Mont-Blanc has also been canceled this year. The event was full of fireworks at the harbor, live concerts, and food stalls. Geneva said that it was impossible to maintain social distancing in a gathering of thousands.
The After 8 curfew in French Capital will remain intact till New Year’s Eve so traditional fireworks on the skies above Eiffel Tower are canceled. They are however replaced with a Livestream concert which Parisians can enjoy from homes.
People can meet up with friends and family but they can avoid kissing strangers at midnight this year. Police will have a right to break up groups of more than 10 people and investigate the reason for them being out during curfew. Citizens can visit each other before 8 PM and can leave after 6 AM when the curfew is over. President Emmanuel Macron has suggested allowing maximum of 6 people in private gatherings.
New Zealand is celebrating their victory over COVID-19 in this new year’s eve. The five-minute show at Sky Tower and Harbor Bridge will carry on as usual. The country is also fortunate in economic condition which is open to most livelihoods. People are also fully allowed to visit their friends and family and have party however they want.