After all, the fireworks were no smaller than in previous years. As every year, innumerable rockets lit the skies of the world at midnight. Above the port of the Australian metropolis Sydney like in Berlin. But you could only watch the whole thing from a distance – or on television.
Because of the corona pandemic, strict exit restrictions were in place in many countries around the world on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s to prevent large celebrations and festivals. Also in Germany: The sale of New Year’s Eve fireworks was banned nationwide this year in order to protect the hospitals from overload. In fact, the Berlin police recorded only a few violations of the requirements until shortly after midnight.
In Brazil, where around 195,000 corona deaths have been counted since the beginning of the pandemic, the authorities prevented a gathering of celebrants on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. Usually one of the biggest New Years Eve celebrations in the world takes place there. However, the pandemic didn’t stop residents from lighting the city with amateur fireworks.
The cracking of the fireworks mixed with the loud protests of numerous demonstrators. People leaned out of their windows, hit pots and pans and protested against President Jair Bolsonaro, whom they accuse of dealing irresponsibly with the corona crisis. “Out with you, Bolsonaro!” Shouted numerous demonstrators.
Also on that New Yorker Times Square a huge crowd did not gather that year. The only spectators were specially invited helpers in the corona crisis, who were able to enjoy the spectacle from a sufficient distance. After appearances by pop stars such as Jennifer Lopez and Gloria Gaynor, the famous crystal ball, the Times Square Ball, was lowered at midnight.
Quite different in New Zealand, where, among other things, thanks to strict entry bans, no new corona case has been registered for weeks: In Auckland and other cities, huge crowds gathered to marvel at the fireworks at midnight.
Even in Chinese Wuhan Thousands of revelers crowded the city center, cheering balloons to greet the year 2021. The metropolis with a population of eleven million had been sealed off from the outside world for more than two months from the end of January after the novel corona virus was first discovered there. Since the summer, however, everyday life has slowly returned.