Even with the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down a lot of in-person celebrations, several countries are forging ahead with fireworks displays that people can watch if they live nearby or from the comfort of their own homes via TV or live stream. Here is a live stream of the Sydney, Australia, fireworks display, which is known as one of the largest displays that ring in the New Year anywhere in the world.
The Festivities Start at 8:30 p.m. AEDT
At 8:30 p.m. AEDT (Australian Eastern Daylight Time), which is 4:30 a.m. ET/1:30 a.m. PT in the United States, the fun starts on the official ABC channel and Facebook page. The channel writes, “Goodbye 2020, hello 2021! Celebrate the new year as we bring you all the fun, fireworks and live music from the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl.”
This year, the traditional 9 p.m. fireworks display is canceled, but the midnight display over the Sydney Harbour Bridge is still happening, which means United States celebrants who want to watch should tune in at 8 a.m. ET/5 a.m. PT.
According to the Sydney tourism website, “Crowd numbers will be strictly controlled around the harbour and entry to designated Green Zones will be restricted. Only people who live in the area, are visiting friends or family who live in the area, or with confirmed bookings at hospitality venues will be allowed into the area.”
Additionally, the site says people can host small gatherings at their homes restricted to a maximum of 10 people (including adults and children). It also says that public transportation services will be running on New Year’s Eve.
The New South Wales Premiere Is Concerned About a Super-Spreader Event
In an interview with Reuters, the New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that they are concerned about New Year’s Eve becoming a super-spreader event for the novel coronavirus and are urging people to stay at home.
“We don’t want to create any super-spreading events on New Year’s Eve, which then ruins it for everybody across the state moving forward,” Berejiklian said, adding that watching the fireworks from home was the safest way to celebrate. “On New Year’s Eve, we don’t want any crowds on the foreshore around Sydney whatsoever,”
Additionally, New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard added a warning to people thinking about doing “anything stupid in the next few days” — “forget it.”
The New South Wales government website says that green and yellow zones have been established to help those who are out and about stay safe. The zones go into effect at 5 p.m. AEDT on December 31. Green zones include Circular Quay and key public vantage points in North Sydney — “Entry to this zone is restricted to residents who live inside the zone, their guests, and those with confirmed bookings at venues such as restaurants, hotels or bars within the area.”
Yellow Zones are established around the Green Zone — “Entry to this zone is not restricted to residents or visitors, but people gathering in these areas in large numbers may be moved on by police.”
Kiritimati, Tonga, and New Zealand are some of the first places to celebrate New Year’s Eve because they are located just west of the International Date Line. One of the last places to celebrate the New Year is the United States’ Baker Island, which is just east of the International Date Line. But in a fun bit of trivia, because of the way the International Date Line zigzags around a bit, Kiritimati is actually east of Baker Island.