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Decision due on Sydney New Year fireworks – but which cities are still set to celebrate?

Sydney officials are under pressure to make a decision over whether its traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks display can go ahead.

Some Australian media say the event is “definitely happening”, despite dissenting voices from the Australian Medical Association.

Doctors have warned it risks public safety as policing the crowds would take essential workers away from dealing with an unfolding coronavirus cluster in the state.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has insisted the event should go ahead “no matter what”, but Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has called for it to be cancelled.

A final decision is expected in the next two days.

Party organisers around the world have had to make tough decisions over their celebrations. Many have scrapped them but a few are pushing ahead.

Here’s a rundown of the state of play in some of the usual New Year’s Eve hotspots.


Sadiq Khan, the city’s mayor, has told people to stay at home.

The annual fireworks display on the Thames, around the London Eye, was cancelled in September. There will be no other public gatherings in the capital.

Huge swathes of England joined London in the strictest COVID-19 restrictions on Boxing Day, meaning millions of people can only gather outside with one other person not in their household.

Nearly everyone in Scotland and Northern Ireland will also be subject to the highest level of restrictions after Christmas – which means large gatherings, even outside, will be banned.


For the first time in its history, Scotland’s flagship Hogmanay event is moving online – where it will be headed by actor David Tennant.

New York

The Times Square Ball Drop is one of the most iconic New Year’s Eve events.

The ball will still be dropping this year, but the party, which usually sees hundreds of thousands cramming the famous LED-lit intersection, will be for an “extremely limited” group of socially distanced in-person ‘honourees’.

Everyone else will need to tune in virtually or watch on TV.

There will be a performance from singer Gloria Gaynor who, quite fittingly, will see the year off with a rendition of I Will Survive.


France has been under an 8pm curfew for the holiday season and it will not be lifted for New Year’s Eve.

Composer and performer Jean-Michel Jarre’s avatar will play a set from inside a virtual Notre Dame Cathedral while he himself performs it live at a nearby studio in the city.

The public can watch online.


New Year’s Eve in Dubai is always huge – and authorities are saying 2020 will be the same – but with strict social distancing and health and safety measures in place.

Its display will as usual be centred around the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa

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