Celebrating 2022 in the Omicron era: out with a whisper

Celebrating 2022 in the Omicron era: out with a whisper

New Year’s celebrations around the world have been changed – or canceled – as the Omicron version of the coronavirus continues to plague.

UK officials have warned fun-goers in Scotland and Wales to avoid traveling to England to ring the bell in 2022 – although there are no formal travel restrictions.

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According to the Office of National Statistics, one in 15 people in London had COVID-19 in the week before Christmas.

Fireworks explode over the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge during New Year’s celebrations in Sydney on Saturday, January 1, 2022. (You image via Dean Levins/AP)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on residents to take rapid coronavirus tests before going out and meeting other people or partying outside.

Metro announced on Friday that fireworks would be staged in London after the annual public exhibition was canceled and people would only be able to watch them on TV.

In Edinburgh, Scotland, which traditionally hosts one of Europe’s biggest New Year parties, residents have been urged to stay at their homes.

In comparison, Australia continued its celebrations, sending thousands of fireworks displays over the Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House – even as health officials reported a record 32,000 new cases of the virus, many of them in New South. Wells was in town.

A visitor wearing a face mask poses for a photo on New Year’s Eve on New Year’s Eve in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, December 31, 2021. (AP Photo / Lee Jin-man)

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Neighboring New Zealand has chosen to replace its Auckland fireworks show with a spectacle of lights projected at the sites in an effort to discourage crowds from gathering.

In Japan, masked visitors filled shrines and shrines.

In Seoul, South Korea, the annual New Year’s Eve celebrations have been canceled due to a rise in the number of cases, but pre-recorded videos are said to be showing up online and on TV.

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Millions of people in India were planning to celebrate from their homes due to night curfew and other restrictions.

The Indonesian government has banned many New Year celebrations, including fireworks in Jakarta, and Vietnam has canceled fireworks shows and celebrations.

A Delhi Police officer stands guard as other employees stand guard at Connaught Place, Delhi's famous and oldest shopping area, amid restrictions imposed due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, in New Delhi, India, Friday. New Year's Eve on December 31, 2021.  ,

A Delhi Police officer stands guard as other employees stand guard at Connaught Place, Delhi’s famous and oldest shopping area, amid restrictions imposed due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, in New Delhi, India, Friday. New Year’s Eve on December 31, 2021. (AP Photo / Altaf Qadri)

Three thousand people were planning to attend a New Year’s concert in Hong Kong, and Thai authorities will allow parties and fireworks to continue with strict security measures in place.

In mainland China, the Shanghai government has canceled an annual light show, and popular temples in Nanjing, Hangzhou and other major cities have canceled New Year’s Eve celebrations.

While San Francisco has canceled its fireworks display, New York’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration is still a ‘go-to’, though officials have said the number of people allowed in the area will be limited.

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Still, the ball will drop with a crowd of about 15,000 spectators, who must show proof of vaccination and wear masks.

Confetti takes off after the Times Square New Year's Eve ball falls into an almost empty Times Square due to the COVID-19 lockdown, in the early hours of Friday, January 1, 2021.

Confetti flies after the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball falls in an almost empty Times Square, due to the COVID-19 lockdown, in the early hours of Friday, January 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Craig Rattle, FILE)

New York City’s new mayor Eric Adams is supposed to take the oath in Times Square after the ball falls. Rapper and actor LL Cool J has announced that he will withdraw from the event after he tested positive for COVID-19.

New York saw widespread infections in December, and state data showed the Big Apple reported a record number of new confirmed cases on Tuesday.

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Coronavirus cases in the United States have reached their highest level on record, and omicron-fueled outbreaks have resulted in nearly record numbers of children in hospital – especially those who have not been vaccinated.

According to CDC data, during the week of December 21-27, an average of 334 children aged 17 and younger were admitted to hospitals with the coronavirus, a 58% increase from the previous week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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