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Thousands Pack Together For New Zealand Fireworks Following Successful Covid Policies

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Thousands Pack Together For New Zealand Fireworks Following Successful Covid Policies

New Zealand celebrated what appeared to be a normal New Year's Eve, with huge crowds and firework displays.

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Compared with the UK, which is under lockdown restrictions still as cases surge and deaths continue to rise, New Zealand has been praised for its handling of the case under Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The country has 55 active Covid-19 cases and is currently imposing minimal restrictions involving mandating the wearing of face coverings on public transport and requiring most travellers to quarantine when they arrive in the country.

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This means New Zealanders were able to go ahead with their usual celebrations as normal.

Photos show people crammed together on the Auckland Harbour Bridge while a huge firework display took place.

A firework display at Auckland Harbour Bridge attracted huge crowds. Credit: PA
A firework display at Auckland Harbour Bridge attracted huge crowds. Credit: PA

Australia, while managing to contain the virus outbreak for much of the year, has seen cases rise in some of its more densely populated areas.

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Areas of Sydney harbour remain fenced off, with some of the usual spots deserted.

A firework display was planned for 9pm but was cancelled, though a seven-minute-long pyrotechnics show went ahead at midnight, with state premier Gladys Berejiklian urging people to watch it on television instead of gathering in-person.

Only a few hundred people could enter the city area after being granted permits.

Fireworks over an empty Sydney harbour. Credit:PA
Fireworks over an empty Sydney harbour. Credit:PA
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Events in Perth went ahead, while Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide cancelled their plans so that large crowds wouldn't gather.

Mayor Sally Capp said: "We did that because we know that it attracts up to 450,000 people into the city for one moment at midnight to enjoy a spectacular display and music. We are not doing that this year."

However, party areas including Surfers Paradise and St Kilda were still packed.

Here in the UK, where the total death toll sits at above 73,000, police had to shut down illegal New Year's Eve parties.

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Anti-lockdown protestors in London were told to 'go home', while most of the country stayed at home to celebrate a more quiet New Year's Eve than usual, for the greater good.

London is in Tier 4, which has the strictest restrictions, due to a severe rise in cases of the coronavirus over the past few weeks.

In the run up to New Year's Eve, healthcare workers begged people to stay home and follow the rules in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus and to stop hospitals becoming overwhelmed.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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The Metropolitan Police also urged people to stay home, with Commander Paul Brogden, saying: "We are still dealing with the stark reality of fighting a deadly virus.

"The public are all too aware that tier 4 restrictions have been put in place to reduce the spread of the virus and to protect the NHS. I would urge everyone to exercise caution, listen to government advice and celebrate the new year in the comfort of their own homes, not the homes of family and friends."

Featured Image Credit: Dave Rowland/Getty Images

Amelia Ward
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