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31st Dec 2020

Crowds in Covid-free New Zealand welcome 2021 with giant public fireworks display

Wil Jones

New Zealand has managed to keep Covid-19 under control like no other country in the world.

As of today, there are only 55 active cases of Covid-19 in the country, all of whom are in quarantine having been identified at the border.

The last recorded case of community transmission in the country was on 18 November.

Thousands attended firework displays in Auckland, as the New Zealand capital said goodbye to 2020.

Crowds gathered at the harbour foreshore to welcome in the new year at 11am GMT.

Revellers were allowed to mingle freely as New Zealand has managed to practically eliminate coronavirus, thanks to a strict seven-week lockdown, and border closures.

Auckland’s Sky Tower hosted an impressive fireworks display, and there was a lights show on the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Over in Australia, Sydney witnessed a similarly spectacular display – but without the crowds.

Like most countries, Covid-19 restrictions have severely impacted New Years Eve celebrations.

Sydney residents were only permitted to enter the city centre if they had restaurant reservations, or were one of five guests of an inner-city home.

Last year millions flocked to see the Sydney display, but like many things in 2020, this year they had to settle for watching them at home on the television.

Samoa was the first place to say goodbye to 2020, welcoming in the new year at 10am GMT.

The New Year’s Festival in Dublin has been cancelled but celebrations will be televised with a special New Year’s Eve programme of events which will be shown on RTÉ and the RTÉ Player from 10.45pm GMT.

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