NSW fireworks continue despite COVID spike | Western Review
London. Edinburgh. Athens. New Delhi. Paris.
Party-goers in major capitals around the world have been told to stay safe and ring the New Year at home as public celebrations are canceled.
But in Sydney, crowds of people are expected to flock to the city’s viewpoints to watch its famous New Year’s Eve fireworks display, despite NSW having seen a dramatic increase in coronavirus cases.
Some 11,201 cases were reported on Wednesday, nearly double the state’s previous record, as pyrotechnicians worked on last-minute preparations for the show.
The City of Sydney says it can’t predict how many people will attend the show, but five of the six venues it operates are full with around 17,000 tickets reserved.
Tickets are still on sale for 25 other venues, which can seat nearly 87,000 people.
Masks are encouraged, unvaccinated people are encouraged to stay home, and viewpoint tickets are limited, but the spiraling epidemic has largely failed to curb the event, which took place last year with crowds banned from CBD.
A team of 50 people from Foti International Fireworks will launch six tons of fireworks through two displays at 9 p.m. and midnight.
More than 25,000 effects of fire will be fired from the top, facade and sides of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, five floating barges will launch 9,000 aerial shells and another 6,000 fireworks will be fired from the top of the sails of the Sydney opera.
“Whales, cubes, sunflower shells, swirls and color-changing fireworks are just some of the surprises in store for Sydney’s New Years Eve 2021,” said Mayor Clover Moore.
“The Foti team spent over eight days setting up each firework display to be launched overnight. I don’t think anyone will leave disappointed!”
The extraordinary Fortunato Foti fireworks display will celebrate 25 years of the Sydney Harbor Show this year.
“Nothing compares to the exhilaration of creating the New Years Eve exhibits in Sydney,” he said.
“Creating an event of this magnitude and being responsible for entertaining millions of people across Australia and around the world, that’s all it’s about.
“We promise a show that everyone will enjoy, whether they’re watching it around the harbor, at home or online.”
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet has defended his government’s decision to keep the state open with few restrictions, despite the increase in cases.
The government made a pact with residents that if they were vaccinated, life would start to return to normal, he said.
“The success that everyone has had statewide has allowed us to open up as quickly as possible, but as surely as possible,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“We have to learn to live alongside the virus and that is exactly what we are doing.”
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Kerry Chant urged people to continue to take active steps to keep them safe this holiday season.
“What people can do is not go out when you have symptoms. Get tested instead.
“Be careful around these big events.
“If somebody says, ‘What if we were going to reserve a place,’ say, ‘Well, is it a well ventilated place’?
“When you are there ask people to keep the windows open.
“Simple things like this can really reduce the risk.”
Associated Australian Press