Australia to ring in 2023 without any COVID restrictions via Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask walks on the harbor waterfront across from the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia on October 6, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia is preparing to celebrate its first New Year without restrictions after two years of Covid disruption, with more than a million revelers expected to descend on Sydney’s harbor to witness an elaborate fireworks display.

Sydney is one of the first major cities in the world to ring in the New Year, drawing huge television audiences around the world with a public countdown and fireworks at its iconic Opera (NASDAQ: ) House.

Lockdowns at the end of 2020 and an increase in Omicron cases at the end of 2021 led to reduced crowd restrictions and festivities. However, restrictions on celebrations have been lifted this year after Australia, like many countries around the world, reopened its borders and lifted social distancing restrictions.

“This New Year’s Eve, we say Sydney is back as it kicks off celebrations around the world and ushers in the New Year with a bang,” said Sydney’s Lord Mayor Glover Moore.

“2022 will be another year of significant challenges as we continue to work to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, but tonight we put that year behind us and look forward to 2023 with optimism.”

A rainbow will light up Sydney Harbor as 2,000 fireworks are set off from the Sydney Opera House’s four boats and 7,000 more fireworks than ever are set off from the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

For the first time in 12 years, fireworks will be launched from four rooftops, organizers said, framing the spectacle.

Before the pandemic, more than a million people would attend the festivities at the stadium in Sydney, with a billion visitors from the rest of the world.


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