New Year’s Eve celebrations impacted by omicron spread

Morning In America

(NewsNation Now) — The omicron variant is impacting New Year’s Eve celebrations nationwide and around the world.

Cities in countries including Germany, Greece, England, India and France are canceling their events outright. In Germany alone, the three largest cities — Berlin, Hamburg and Munich — canceled their annual events because of a feared “fifth wave” of coronavirus.

In a few major U.S. cities, the show will go on, but with modifications to the celebration schedule.

The iconic Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration in New York City has taken place every year since 1907 — with the exception of two years during World War II — but once again this year’s event will look different thanks to COVID-19.

New York City is scaling back the crowds and requiring masks for attendees.

Viewing areas that normally accommodate about 58,000 people will be limited to approximately 15,000 to allow for more social distancing, and everyone in attendance must show proof of vaccination and wear a mask, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news release announcing the changes.

Seattle will not be shooting off physical fireworks or allowing crowds at the Space Needle. Instead, the city will present an “augmented reality display” viewable online.

Sydney, Australia, will require all audience members to have a ticket and Austria announced a slate of new restrictions. Among them, restaurants must close at 10 p.m., including on New Year’s Eve.

Watch the full Smart Board report in the video player at the top of the page.

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