World has prepared a muted New Year 2021 night under the coronavirus shadow with lockdowns, restrictions and curfews in place in dozens of countries to stem the spread of disease that has taken nearly 2 million lives globally.
Taiwan scaled back New Year’s 2021 Eve events and directed people to watch fireworks and other festivities at home.
The cities of Kaohsiung, Tainan, Taichung, Taoyuan, Chiayi and Keelung all cancelled public attendance at events like fireworks displays, and have asked people to watch at home online and on television.
Authorities in Australia asked people to stay home and avoid the famous harbourside midnight fireworks display. Restrictions have also been introduced in the southern state of Victoria.
On Wednesday, when 50,023 new cases were recorded, the government announced tighter restrictions. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, also urged people to follow the rules and “see in the new year safely at home”.
France announced it will deploy 100,000 police and gendarmes to clamp down on parties, gatherings and the traditional torching of vehicles on 31 December.
Germany, is under partial lockdown. Angela Merkel said in her last new year’s address as chancellor that 2020 was by far the most difficult of her 15-year leadership, yet the start of vaccinations against Covid-19 made 2021 a year of hope.
The crystal-encrusted New Year’s Eve ball will drop in Times Square at midnight on 31 December, however, its descent will be greeted by empty streets due to Covid-19 restrictions.
New York City authorities have announced that Times Square will not be open to the public.
New Zealand, which managed to eliminate coronavirus after a strict seven-week lockdown, have plans as usual.
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has put out a list of roads around the Burj Khalifa that will be closed on New Year’s Eve.
— RTA (@rta_dubai) December 30, 2020