Sydney’s New Year’s Eve celebrations are watched by more than one billion people, but with just 20 weeks until 2020 ends, many events face being cancelled if the pandemic doesn’t ease.
Local councils across Sydney are scrambling to determine how the year's biggest parties may look amid the pressures and constraints posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Sydney's New Year's Eve celebrations are watched by more than one billion people around the world, but with just 20 weeks until 2020 ends, many events face being cancelled if the pandemic doesn't ease.
"They shouldn't go ahead, for several reasons. One - it sends a message we're out of the woods, when we're not," professor Mary-Louise McLaws from the University of NSW told 9News.
The City of Sydney Council, which hosts the largest New Year's Eve celebration – attended by about one million people along the harbour – today said it is working with the NSW government to determine if the show can still go ahead.
If it does get cancelled, it would be the first time since 1988 that the famous fireworks display is put off.
Further south, Bayside Council Mayor Joe Awada has said there will be no New Year's Eve celebrations at all at Brighton Le Sands – marking the second year in a row they've been stopped.
"How can you possible comply with health order and restrictions with 1.5 metres with 70,000 people? It would be impossible to control," he said.
In Parramatta, similar council discussions are currently being had.
"If we're able to hold it, we'd look to hold it, but if current conditions remain, current restrictions remain, then it would be unlikely," Lindsay Woodland, Parramatta City Council's Executive Director City Engagement and Experience, said.
There could, however, be a 'Plan B' put in place if the event is cancelled. The council may look to hold celebrations online or at a reduced capacity.
North of the CBD, the Northern Beaches Council is still undecided and in the south-west, Campbelltown Council has told 9News a big outdoor event this year is unlikely but it is exploring alternatives.
You can get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App Store, Google Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.
Beyond Blue's Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a 24/7 service free of charge to all Australians. Visit the site here or call 1800512348
For coronavirus breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the 9News app and set notifications to on at the App Store or Google Play.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-nsw-sydney-new-years-eve-celebrations-councils-deciding-options-covid19/f6cd91f6-c656-48da-a940-06c0e86d9d73