A two wave the Covid-19 epidemic caused by the spread of the Omicron virus has disrupted New Year’s celebrations around the world, with partygoers being urged to be extra vigilant in the face of increasing crime.
While we hope that 2021 will be a different year after the plague closed many New Year’s festivities, many cities and states have suspended or reduced the number of festivals planned, while urging people to limit the size of their gatherings.
London has banned its annual New Year’s fire show, but the Times Square festival in New York City continues as the risk of disease in the city rises sharply. However, only 15,000 people will be allowed to take part in the throwing game, which attracts about 60,000 worldwide.
Guests should be vaccinated and wear masks to participate in an outdoor event, although health experts are skeptical if the ceremony will continue. The event was closed to the public in 2020.
Eric Adams he will be sworn in as the city’s new mayor at the Times Square festival as soon as the ball is dropped, having terminated his inaugural party in Brooklyn due to the sheer number of cases.
In New York State, the risk of Covid-19 infections is twice as high as the rest of the world, with more than 230 per 100,000 people, the highest since the outbreak, according to FT analysis for data.
Several linear lines have become common outside the test site.
Experts have warned of large gatherings, as the number of seven days of new cases in the US has risen to nearly 350,000, which is higher than ever before. San Francisco banned firefighting, while Atlanta, Georgia, suspended its annual “Peach Drop”.
At a press conference at the White House on Wednesday, Dr Anthony Fauci, senior medical consultant at Joe Biden, said for those planning to go to conventions, “everyone is hugging and kissing and wishing each other a Happy New Year – I can assure you, this year, we will not do that.”
The New Year’s celebrations around the world started out randomly. Australia continued with firefighting on display at the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House, but the numbers were much lower than ever before with the country’s top health officials reporting 32,000 new Covid cases, most of them in New South Wales.
Meanwhile, New Zealand, which did not mention any Omicron spread, left Auckland firefighters in favor of a smaller show.
In Germany, Olaf Scholz used his style first New Year’s address as Chancellor to enforce interest rates to offer a 30m Covid-19 shot at the end of January, as the country prepares for the Omicron upgrade.
Germany has imposed new sanctions against Omicron’s spread, setting limits on the number of people who can attend meetings. “Nowadays we will also have no big New Year’s Eve parties or fireworks,” Scholz said.
In South Africa, which has passed the fourth consecutive term held by Omicron after avoiding the death toll, “good times are near” in 2022, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday.
South Africans will be able to stay out at midnight to celebrate New Year’s Eve for the first time since the coronavirus epidemic broke out after the Ramaphosa government abolished nighttime restrictions, one of the country’s most restrictive restrictions. On the night the curfew was lifted, restaurant managers rushed to tell their customers the story, and bars were held in Cape Town.
South Africa has endured the greatest threat of death from previous storms in 2021 and “millions of families are struggling to make ends meet” in Africa’s largest economy, Ramaphosa said.
But “we are grateful for the nearly 18 million South Africans who received the Covid-19 vaccine” and the scientists “who help us better understand the epidemic, prepare and respond appropriately,” he said. South African scientists were among the first in the world to discover the Omicron species.
Reports of Guy Chazan in Berlin, Joseph Cotterill in Johannesburg, and Madison Darbyshire with Stand Moise in New York