New Year’s Eve 2020: China and New Zealand celebrate without major corona restrictions

Panorama New Years Eve 2020

China and New Zealand celebrate without major corona restrictions

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Without a mask and without a gap – New Zealand welcomes 2021

In some countries, 2021 has already started. New Zealand was one of the first countries to welcome the New Year. Without any corona-related restrictions.

How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve in a year that was determined by hygiene rules and contact restrictions? Because the number of infections is so different in many parts of the world, it is possible to celebrate carefree in some countries, for example in China.

Whurry in China the corona pandemic is under control and there are hardly any infections, the new year has started in the People’s Republic without major restrictions. However, New Year’s Eve is not a particularly important holiday for the Chinese either.

According to their traditional lunar calendar, the new year doesn’t start until February. Only then does a great wave of travel begin, in which hundreds of millions move through the country to visit their families. Only then is there a really big celebration. Nevertheless, fireworks were set off in some cities at midnight on Friday. One was also planned in Wuhan, the city of the corona outbreak. There the people with face masks stood close together. An image that is unusual in these times.


Waiting for the new year in Wuhan, China


New Zealand has welcomed the New Year with a number of major music festivals and fireworks shows. The island state in the South Pacific has not recorded any local corona cases for more than a month. Therefore, the events could take place without restrictions on the number of visitors or other corona-related restrictions.

Virus Outbreak New Zealand New Year

With live music into the new year in Christchurch, New Zealand

Source: AP / Ernest Kung

In Australia Instead of the usual big New Year’s Eve celebration on the harbor in Sydney with a million visitors this year, there was only a seven-minute show – almost without an audience.

The area around the harbor was cordoned off and popular parks were closed. From outside, only those who had a reservation in a restaurant or were one of five permitted guests of a local resident were allowed into central Sydney. Some restaurants at the port charged up to 1690 Australian dollars (1050 euros) per guest, as the newspaper “The Daily Telegraph” reported.

In the second largest Australian city of Melbourne, where several new infections had been reported for the first time in weeks, the fireworks display was canceled this year.

Fireworks, yes, but almost without an audience: Sydney, Australia

Fireworks, yes, but almost without an audience: Sydney, Australia

Source: via REUTERS

In Taiwan, which has reported only seven deaths and 700 confirmed infections since the pandemic began, the usual fireworks display also took place next to the tall Taipei 101 skyscraper.

Party in Taipei, Taiwan

Party in Taipei, Taiwan

Source: AFP / SAM YEH

In Japan New Year’s Eve was celebrated quietly this year. Because of a new record number of new corona infections in Tokyo, Governor Yuriko Koike called on residents: “Please spend the New Year with your family and stay at home.”

New Years Eve - Japan

Police officers in Tokyo. Their signs say “No countdown event for today”

Those: dpa / Kiichiro Sato

Germany The biggest New Year’s Eve party in Berlin is canceled this time – including the high-altitude fireworks over the Brandenburg Gate, suitable for television. The ZDF wanted to broadcast a show from there that evening without an audience. Berlin’s Interior Senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) and the SPD state chairwoman, Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey, visited police officers on their New Year’s Eve mission in the afternoon. At the Victory Column, the politicians met a hundred-year-old and thanked the officials for the work they had done. The police are on duty in Berlin at night with around 2900 forces.

New Year's Eve - Berlin

The Straße des 17. Juni is closed on New Year’s Eve from the Brandenburg Gate to the Victory Column

Source: dpa / Christophe Gateau

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