(CNN) — For awhile there, it appeared we might be able to ring in New Year’s Eve in major cities across the world with something resembling the big celebrations of yore.
Another Covid surge and the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus has dashed those hopes — at least in some part of the world.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is still pondering what to do about the renowned Times Square celebration and has promised an answer by Christmas. For now, it’s still scheduled, and all guests must be fully vaccinated to attend.
Some major cities in Europe, where the spread of Omicron has been startling, have already announced they’re flat-out canceling plans or paring down.
Other cities with iconic celebrations still plan to host their events.
As of December 21, this what some of the world cities with traditionally huge New Year’s Eve events are doing.
The following cities (or nations) have already announced they’re canceling their big shindigs:
Germany will impose strict contact restrictions to curb the spread of Covid starting on December 28 and prohibit New Year’s Eve gatherings, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced on Tuesday, December 21.
That means no big fireworks gathering in Berlin, the capital, nor in other big gathering spots such as Munich and Frankfurt.
From December 28, a maximum of 10 people will be allowed to meet in groups, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or recovered, Scholz said. Children 13 and younger are exempt from the new contact restrictions.
Public New Year’s Eve celebrations in Scotland will be canceled, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday, December 21.
Sturgeon said the move will “also mean unfortunately that large-scale Hogmanay celebrations — including that planned here in our capital city — will not proceed. I know how disappointing this will be for those looking forward to these events.”
“Due to the surge in Covid cases, we’ve taken the difficult decision to cancel our NYE event in Trafalgar Square,” said the tweet from Khan’s verified account. “The safety of all Londoners must come first.”
A statement attached to the tweet said the celebration had been expected to host 6,500 people in Trafalgar Square.
Instead, a program will be broadcast at midnight on BBC One, Khan said.
RIO DE JANEIRO
New Year’s Eve celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s party capital, have been canceled because of rising coronavirus concerns, Mayor Eduardo Paes tweeted on Saturday, December 18.
“We respect science. As there are divergent opinions among scientific committees, we will always stick with the most restrictive,” Paes wrote.
“I make the decision with sadness, but we cannot organize the celebration without the guarantee of all the health authorities. Unfortunately, we cannot organize a party of this size, in which we have a lot of expenses and logistics involved, without the minimum time for preparation,” the mayor said.
Events still scheduled
Sydney, Australia, plans to hold its spectacular fireworks show for New Year’s Eve 2021.
PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images
Not all the world’s cities have called off their celebrations. Here are some of the cities traditionally renowned for their exceptional fireworks and big New Year’s Eve events that were still moving forward with their plans as of December 21: