International

Sydney further tightens restrictions for New Year’s Eve

The Australian metropolis of Sydney faces even tighter restrictions for New Year’s Eve as a coronavirus cluster has spread beyond a lockdown zone on the city’s northern beaches, the government announced Wednesday.

According to dpa news, the number of visitors allowed in Sydney homes for New Year’s Eve celebrations is being cut from ten to five and outside gatherings are being cut from 50 to 30.

State premier Gladys Berejiklian said this follows the discovery overnight of a cluster of six Covid-19 infected people in one family in the city’s mid-west. “The total number of infected people in Sydney rose to 147,” Berejiklian said.

Despite efforts to lock down the infected part of Sydney, police said a bride and 20 of her wedding guests were hit with 1,000-dollar fines for leaving the locked down northern beaches zone to get married in the city on the weekend.

While the state government is allowing the New Year’s Eve fireworks over the Sydney Harbour Bridge to go ahead, few will be able to watch them.

Normally up to a million people descend on the harbour to watch the firework spectacular. But this year it will be confined to the harbour bridge and only those whose home, roof or hotel room have views over the harbour will be able to see the fireworks live.

All outside viewpoints will be closed. Wire fence barriers have already gone up at parks and pedestrian zones, and police are ordered to prevent anybody approaching the harbour.

Berejiklian urged everyone in Sydney to stay home and watch the fireworks on TV as they are broadcast around the world.