Ebene News – GB – Australians prepare to ring in 2021 after year dominated by COVID-19

And the impact is greatest in Sydney and Melbourne as both cities deal with COVID-19 clusters

Sydney’s Circular Quay would normally be neck and neck with revelers, scrambling for a prime position to view the New Year’s Harbor (NYE) fireworks, but tonight it’s empty, with a exclusion zone around the zone

Port side pitches are fenced, popular parks are closed, and a strict permit system is in place for anyone setting foot in the CBD

Strict measures are in response to growing number of COVID-19 cases in Sydney after new cluster emerges in mid-west

New South Wales Police have warned that New Year’s revelers officers will not hesitate to visit homes to check people are following health rules

Ben Ferris and Vida Irani celebrated New Years Eve with Ben’s parents before taking a stroll along Sydney’s Bronte Beach

“It’s very quiet, it’s a bit sad actually, everyone is in very small groups,” Ms. Irani said

“I guess everyone is doing their best to put this year behind them and make a fresh start”

The couple are expecting a baby in January and have agreed that this is what they were most looking forward to in the New Year

Ms Irani said that despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, she felt optimistic about the birth of a baby

Many Victorians feel shocked as they enter New Years Eve, just a day after the 61-day streak of state-of-zero locally acquired coronavirus cases came to an abrupt end

Eight cases so far have been linked to a cluster that authorities believe began on December 21, when a traveler returning from NSW dined at a restaurant in Melbourne

The size of household gatherings has been reduced from 30 to 15, and Victorians are also required to wear a mask at all indoor locations outside their homes, except when eating or drinking

Thousands of Victorians in New South Wales abandon caravan parks and vacation spots as they run back across the border before midnight tonight, to avoid a mandatory quarantine period 14 days in their homes

Victorians returning after Victoria closed its border to all of New South Wales at 11:59 p.m. Friday will face a fortnightly hotel quarantine

The fireworks display that normally attracts over 400,000 people to the city has been replaced by a two-day food festival in the streets

More than 1,500 officers will be on duty, with police mainly focusing on areas where crowds are likely to congregate, such as the CBD and beaches

Although Brisbane’s annual fireworks display has been canceled, people gather in city parks to see the New Year

Box office events are held at venues around the city, including the Factory Summer Festival at the Brisbane Showgrounds

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About 2,500 people are expected to attend the event and organizers are taking steps to ensure social distancing for people

Spaces have been marked out on the ground for dancing and COVID commissioners will patrol the site to keep people 15 meters apart

Rachel Bergin said she is enjoying a much quieter New Years Eve than usual at South Bank with her husband Kieran and son Jack

“We just had a swim and dinner and then we get home before midnight,” she said

“[This year] is much quieter Usually we are here for the fireworks and at home quite late so it is very different”

Ms Bergin said she was happy to see the end of 2020, but worried about what was to come in 2021

Amy Plumridge and her husband Zak arrived from Townsville earlier today and were also enjoying a low-key celebration at South Bank

“We actually thought there were such disappointing fireworks they got canceled, but we figured we were just going for a walk around and have a look at Brisbane,” he said. she declared

North of Brisbane, thousands of people packed the Redcliffe Esplanade for fireworks off the local pier

A brief gust of rain just before the 7:30 p.m. show was not enough to deter the crowds, mostly young families, from staying for the 10 minute show

With Western Australia free from community transmission of COVID, many locals seize opportunity to celebrate

The city of Perth hosts entertainment for all ages throughout the evening, including fireworks over the rooftops of Northbridge at 9:00 p.m. and midnight

Around 40,000 people are expected to visit the city, with free public transport across the network after midnight

“It’s incredibly lucky that we get to celebrate New Year’s Eve, because it’s been incredibly lucky that we can live our normal lives for much of 2020,” said Mayor Basil Zempilas

For places like the Wembley Hotel, crowds are a huge turnaround after COVID shutdowns earlier this year

“The hardest part was letting the staff go and then it was about getting the job done, adapting the pub to do whatever we can to keep things going,” said the owner of the hotel, Kane Mansfield

Acting WA Premier Roger Cook warns revelers to keep COVID safe and ensure they check in at locations with QR codes

“I understand that everyone wants to party on New Years Eve and go out with their friends and family, but it is always important to remember that we stay vigilant, that we continue to observe the rule of two square meters and that we observe a good physical distance and personal hygiene “

With the cancellation of Adelaide’s main fireworks display, Elder Park, the usual vantage point, was much quieter than it usually would be in New York City.

The regional centers of Victor Harbor, Port Lincoln and Murray Bridge will still be hosting their fireworks displays

Thousands of people flocked to Adelaide Oval for the Big Bash game, with the Adelaide Strikers taking on the Perth Scorchers

A ceiling of 50 people in homes in South Australia remains in place, with no more than 200 people allowed at private gatherings outside the home

“The number of police on the move is similar to previous years for New Years Eve, but on top of that we also have a COVID compliance capability,” Deputy Commissioner Ian Parrott said. >

“We will monitor people’s behavior as we usually do and then taking ourselves on top of that is our continued commitment to making sure people act correctly in accordance with the COVID guidelines and restrictions in place.”

The end of the year might be different than what Tasmanians are used to, but COVID-19 hasn’t stopped people from going out and about to farewell 2020

Hobart’s waterfront is typically a hive of activity on New Years Eve with the Taste of Tasmania food and wine festival, but its cancellation earlier this year means the CBD was quieter than it was. ‘habit

To fill the void, several bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs in the city were holding events with tickets with hand sanitizer and QR codes for tracking and tracing

Those attending New Years Eve in Hobart are treated to two fireworks displays over the River Derwent The previous presentation delighted the children, before the main event at midnight

But restrictions around gatherings are still in place, with the Tasmanian government limiting outdoor gatherings to 1,000 people, meaning large crowds are not allowed on the waterfront

To avoid overcrowding, Hobart City Council has made this year’s fireworks display taller than usual so they can be seen all around town

ABC is calling on New Years Eve, Your Mental Health, partnering with Lifeline Australia and Kids Helpline to raise funds for their frontline call center workers

All money raised over the two days will go directly to frontline services with the aim of securing additional counselors to answer more calls to help Australians in need

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and BBC World Service which is copyrighted and may not be reproduced

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Sydney, Coronavirus, New Year, New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian

Ebene News – GB – Australians prepare to ring in 2021 after year dominated by COVID-19

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-12-31/how-australians-are-celebrating-new-years-eve-2020/13024600