Moneycontrol

Budget 2023Budget 2023

PARTNERS

  • Tata AIA Life Insurance
  • Hafele
  • Motilal Oswal
  • SMC Global Securities Limited
  • SBI Life
  • DSP Mutual Fund
Upcoming Event : LeapToUnicorn - mentoring, networking and fundraising for startups. Register now
you are here: HomeNewsWorld

Cities around the world pare back New Year celebrations, again

Only months ago, expanding COVID vaccinations and loosening travel rules had promised a return of raucous New Year gatherings amid hopes that the pandemic might finally be waning.

December 28, 2021 / 11:00 PM IST
Edinburg, known for its New Year's Eve street rally, wore a deserted look on Dec 31, 2020 (Image: AFP)

Edinburg, known for its New Year's Eve street rally, wore a deserted look on Dec 31, 2020 (Image: AFP)

As the omicron variant drives coronavirus infection rates to their highest levels of the pandemic in many parts of the world, major cities have scaled down or canceled New Year’s Eve events for a second consecutive year.

Only months ago, expanding COVID vaccinations and loosening travel rules had promised a return of raucous New Year gatherings amid hopes that the pandemic might finally be waning. But the emergence of omicron — the highly transmissible variant that is now dominant in the United States and fueling record surges in many nations — has prompted governments to reinstate travel restrictions, mask mandates and bans on large gatherings.

Even as early studies suggest that omicron produces less severe illness, experts warn that the staggering caseload could still overwhelm health systems. A number of Dec. 31 events have been canceled in countries where caseloads are rising swiftly, including in Italy, where the 14-day average of new cases is up 128%, and in France, where cases are up 48%, according to the Our World in Data Project at the University of Oxford.

In the United States, where daily cases have doubled over the past two weeks, some events have been canceled, but the annual celebration in Times Square in New York will go on, with attendance capped at 15,000.