MUTED CELEBRATIONS: Sydney deserted on New Year’s Eve amid outbreak
Thursday - 31/12/2020 10:12
New Year’s Eve looked very different in Sydney this year, with the usual throngs of loud revellers replaced by silence and empty streets due to the coronavirus outbreak.
New Year’s Eve looked very different in Sydney this year.
Gone were the usual throngs of people celebrating, replaced by silence and empty streets, as residents complied with the city’s coronavirus restrictions.
Earlier this week, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian tightened those rules, limiting household gatherings across Greater Sydney to a maximum of five people and outdoor gatherings to 30 people.
“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,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“On New Year’s Eve, we don’t want any crowds on the foreshore around Sydney whatsoever.
“Had circumstances been different, we may have acted differently. But we don’t want New Year’s Eve to be a situation where undetected cases – i.e. people who may be in the very early stages of the disease and not know they’ve got it, not know they’re infectious – unintentionally give it to those closest to them.
“Our preferred advice is that people just stay home.”
Most Sydneysiders followed that advice.
Uniformed police officers could be seen in Circular Quay throughout the evening, following through on the warning from Assistant Commissioner Michael Willing earlier in the day that “large numbers” of cops would appear at licensed venues to check their compliance with the restrictions.
“We’ll be checking licensed premises, we’ll be doorknocking when necessary,” he said.
“We’ll be out and patrolling public areas to ensure people abide by the current health orders.”
The fireworks themselves were as spectacular as always - the only thing missing was the people watching them.