World sees in the New Year despite Covid restrictions as party spirit overcomes Omicron concerns

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Fireworks fly over the Acropolis in Greece while illuminations light up the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin as Europe sees in the New Year following Australia’s traditional Sydney Harbour extravaganza

Russia’s Red Square was closed from 5pm in a bid to halt the spread of Covid, while In Dubai, the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building was illuminated by fireworks marking the start of 2022. 

The Brandenburg gate in Berlin was also closed to visitors while it was illuminated with a light show, fireworks flew over the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, while Parisians stood on the Champs Elysees watching the Arc de Triomphe. 

Meanwhile, Rio de Janeiro’s usual celebrations that attract hundreds of thousands at Copacabana Beach were toned down, with just a 16 minute fireworks display to entertain crowds and no live music shows.

BRAZIL: Revellers enjoy the fireworks and celebrate the New Year on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro today

And in London — despite initially being cancelled — the capital put on a dazzling light show involving the River Thames, the Shard, Greenwich Old Royal Naval College and St Paul’s Cathedral. 

The illuminations marked the NHS’s vaccine campaign and England’s Euro2020 campaign – which saw the Three Lions lose out to Italy in the final.  

BRAZIL: The Rio de Janeiro fireworks display was toned down from the usual celebrations, with just a 16 minute fireworks display and no live music or huge gatherings because of the spread of the Omicron variant

Some parties in major cities have been cancelled due to rising infections. South Africa, where the mutant strain was first detected, lifted a curfew to allow the end-of-year parties to go ahead. 

One of the world’s biggest New Year’s Eve gatherings took place in North Korea where thousands gathered in the main square in Pyongyang for a fireworks show. 

China put on a number of its typically extravagant shows with stunning lights, fireworks and pyrotechnic displays, although its usual celebrations were slimmed down due to the surge in cases.

NEW YORK: About 15,000 revelers celebrated the mark of the new year despite rising cases of Covid and the presence of the new Omicron variant

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