©Health & Fitness Journal. FILE PHOTO: A person wearing a protective face mask walks along the harborfront opposite the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia October 6, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
SYDNEY (Health & Fitness Journal) – Australia is preparing to celebrate its first restriction-free New Year’s Eve after two years of COVID disruptions. More than a million revelers are expected to flock to Sydney’s harbor front to see a lavish fireworks display.
One of the first major cities in the world to welcome the New Year, Sydney attracts huge television audiences around the world with a public countdown and fireworks display over the iconic Opera House (NASDAQ:).
Lockdowns in late 2020 and a spike in Omicron cases in late 2021 led to crowd restrictions and reduced celebrations. However, restrictions on celebrations were 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’re saying Sydney is back as we kick off celebrations around the world and ring in the new year with a bang,” said Clover Moore, Sydney Lord Mayor.
“2022 was another year of significant challenges as we continued to work to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but tonight we are putting the year behind us and looking to 2023 with hope.”
A rainbow of colors will light up Sydney Harbour, with 2,000 firecrackers being launched from the four sails of the Sydney Opera House and 7,000 firecrackers from more locations on the Sydney Harbor Bridge than ever before.
For the first time in 12 years, fireworks will be launched from four building rooftops to frame the spectacular show, organizers said.
Before the pandemic, over a million people attended the celebrations locally in Sydney, while a billion viewers tuned in from other parts of the world.