Dec. 31 (UPI) — The primary New Yr’s Eve of the coronavirus period begins on Thursday morning with pared-down celebration at Sydney Harbor in Australia and can proceed all through the day at different areas worldwide.

In each different 12 months, hundreds of thousands upon hundreds of thousands of individuals have turned out in cities worldwide to welcome the brand new 12 months, notably in iconic areas like New York Metropolis’s Occasions Sq. and the Sydney Opera Home. This 12 months, these locations will seem largely abandoned on the stroke of midnight.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, Sydney authorities have locked down the harbor to curb the unfold of COVID-19.

“It is fairly empty, you do not normally see this place with so few individuals,” Sydney resident Ezekiel Dioneda advised The Sydney Morning Herald.

Sydney was one of many first time zones on this planet to enter 2021, in addition to Melbourne, the capital of Canberra and Auckland, New Zealand. Antarctica was additionally one of many first locations on Earth to start the brand new 12 months.

Widespread areas all through Sydney Harbor have been fenced off and a strict allow for town’s central enterprise district was put in place after town noticed a spike in instances.

Sydney’s well-known fireworks show will go forward as regular, but it surely has been lower to seven minutes and Australians are being inspired to look at it on tv or on-line.

The following main cities to cross into 2021 are Tokyo, Seoul and Pyongyang (10 a.m. EST) — adopted an hour later by what’s normally the a serious New Yr’s celebration in Hong Kong. However there, too, issues will likely be far completely different Thursday.

Fireworks at Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor have been canceled, marking the second consecutive 12 months wherein the normally lavish shows have been scrubbed as a consequence of tightened bodily distancing measures, however the first time it is associated to COVID-19.

Authorities scaled again final 12 months’s occasion as a consequence of widespread disruptions brought on by months of anti-government protests.

India, Afghanistan and the remainder of the Center East enter 2021 within the early afternoon, in U.S. time zones, adopted by Russia, Greece, Germany, France and all western European nations.

In Britain, the place many elements of the nation are underneath a strict lockdown, practically all main fireworks shows have been referred to as off. Cities together with London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Liverpool have additionally canceled large-scale celebration occasions.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan canceled the celebrations again in September.

“There won’t be fireworks at New Yr’s Eve like there was in earlier years,” he mentioned on the time. “We merely can not have the quantity of people that congregate on New Yr’s Eve congregating.”

The brand new 12 months will subsequent arrive in North America, the place maybe probably the most conspicuously muted New Yr’s Eve celebration Thursday will likely be seen in New York Metropolis’s Occasions Sq. — lengthy thought of by many the cream of the brand new 12 months’s occasion crop.

New York Metropolis Police Division operations chief Terence Monahan was clear on Wednesday whether or not would-be partiers could be permitted to look at the well-known crystal ball drop on Thursday evening.

“There are completely no spectators allowed in Occasions Sq.,” he mentioned at a information briefing. “In the event you suppose you are going to have the ability to stand there and watch the ball, you are mistaken.

“Do not come. Watch it at dwelling.”

Police mentioned that though there have been no credible terror threats, safety will likely be diffuse throughout town all through Thursday and early Friday. Each pedestrians and autos are barred from coming into the realm round Occasions Sq..

After crossing the continental United States, Mexico and Canada, the ultimate locations on Earth to welcome 2021 are Alaska and French Polynesia (Four a.m. EST Friday), Hawaii (5 a.m. EST), American Samoa and Halfway (6 a.m. EST), adopted lastly by outlying Pacific islands like Baker and Howland islands (7 a.m. EST).

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President Donald Trump takes off his face masks as he returns to the White Home after present process remedy for COVID-19 on the Walter Reed Nationwide Navy Medical Heart on October 5. Photograph by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photograph