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New Year’s Eve Events To Fizzle As Australians Lock Themselves Down

Hannah Blackiston

Published 

New Year’s Eve Events To Fizzle As Australians Lock Themselves Down

Despite rising COVID-19 case numbers, Sydney's New Year's Eve plans are set to go ahead, with NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet urging people to go ahead with their plans for the night.

But it looks like the event will be a bust as more venues and Sydneysiders cancel their plans for the night in favour of smaller gatherings or staying at home.

Melbourne has also seen a number of cancellations and changes in plans, despite official celebrations still going ahead.

Michal Sikorski / Alamy Stock Photo
Michal Sikorski / Alamy Stock Photo

NSW recorded 12,226 new cases today while Victoria recorded 5,137.

Speaking to The Age, Captain Cook Cruises general manager Nick Lester said the company had experienced a surge of cancellations despite urging from Perrottet for people to stick to their plans.

"It's like Sydney's locking itself down", he said.

He said the company had seen 20 - 30 per cent cancellations.

The City of Sydney told The Guardian it couldn't predict how many people would turn out for its New Year's Eve events, but said five of the six locations had been fully booked with around 17,000 tickets being sold.

Other venues however said the wave of cancellations and enquiries from concerned patrons had led to them choosing to shut down events.

Phillip Fikkers, owner of Potts Point restaurant Macleay Street Bistro, told The Age the venue had seen more than 70 per cent cancellations since the easing of restrictions on December 17.

He blames the removal of the mask and QR code check in restrictions, which he says lowered consumer confidence that hasn't improved since the measures have returned.

In Melbourne, the firework viewing events in Flagstaff Gardens, Treasury Gardens, and Docklands are still going ahead.

Howard Ferrier / Alamy Stock Photo
Howard Ferrier / Alamy Stock Photo

But with case numbers rising and predicted to continue on that trajectory there are more and more residents who are considering changing their plans.

The city has cancelled its Docklands drone storm event due to COVID-related freight and logistics challenges.

City of Melbourne hired UK-based firm Celestial to deliver a show featuring more than 350 drones creating colourful displays in the sky.

It would have been Australia's largest drone show, but due to staff isolation stints and major delays in shipping, Celestial was unable to carry out training and test flights.

Pavel Dudek / Alamy Stock Photo
Pavel Dudek / Alamy Stock Photo

Victoria and New South Wales have both announced plans to make rapid antigen tests free, buying millions of the tests to distribute across the states.

The federal government is refusing to buy kits for widespread use, causing scrambling among the states as they fight to secure enough supplies.

Featured Image Credit: Norman Herfurth / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, Melbourne, Sydney, Australia

Hannah Blackiston
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