New Year’s Eve Celebrations Up In The Air Amid Covid Surge

Winding back plans

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Despite many winding back New Year's Eve celebrations, tens of thousands of revellers are still expected to flock to Melbourne's CBD.

With record Covid infections causing havoc to what was once the biggest day on the calendar, Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said its inevitable celebrations have taken a hit from the pandemic.

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Cr Capp confirmed late Wednesday that the much-anticipated drone swarm had been axed from the city’s NYE program due to Covid-related freight and logistics challenges.

“We know this decision is disappointing, particularly for our local traders who have done it so tough this year,” Ms Capp said.

“Despite the best efforts of the Celestial team, the rapidly changing environment has impacted their ability to deliver the show safely.”

However, it’s not all bad news, as the lord mayor confirmed there will still be plenty to celebrate for those who have tickets to four event zones in the city.

“Within the celebration zones, there is family-friendly entertainment, more than 115 artists will be dazzling and delighting the crowds, there is a 9.30pm fireworks show, particularly for families and children,” she told reporters.

“Post the 9.30pm show, we move more into glitter balls, DJs and dancing as people look forward to heralding the end of 2021 with a midnight firework show across those four celebration zones,”

- Cr Capp

Meantime, health experts are advising people to avoid large crowds where possible.

Disappointed public celebrations are still going ahead, Prof Mary-Louise McLaws, an epidemiologist and adviser to the World Health Organization, says she had hoped that leaders would have at least placed a cap on home visits.

“There need to be home capacity limits and, in fact, everyone going to a home should certainly be using a [rapid antigen test] if they all haven’t recently had a booster shot.”

Prof McLaws said outside parties would be preferable, with those attending encouraged to always wear masks.

The City of Melbourne are anticipating thousands to flock to Flagstaff Gardens, Treasury Gardens, and Docklands to watch the fireworks.


Join Tom Tilley with regular rotating co-hosts Jan Fran, Annika Smethurst and Jamila Rizvi on The Briefing, Monday - Saturday, for the day's headlines and breaking news as well as hot topics and interviews. Available on Listnr.

Hit News Team

30 December 2021

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