New Year’s Eve Muted By Omicron; Many Hoping For Better 2022

Fireworks explode over the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge as New Year's Eve celebrations begin in Sydney, Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. (Dean Lewins/AAP Image via AP)

(AP) — In many places around the world, plans for New Year’s Eve celebrations are muted or canceled for the second straight year due to a surge of coronavirus infections, this time driven by the highly contagious omicron variant. New Zealand was one of the first places to celebrate the new year with a low-key lights display projected onto Auckland landmarks, including the Sky Tower and Harbor Bridge. Australia too went ahead with celebrations including the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House fireworks despite an explosion in cases. So far, at least, the omicron surge hasn’t resulted in the same levels of hospitalizations and deaths as previous outbreaks — especially among vaccinated people — offering a glimmer of hope for 2022.


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