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The New Years Eve fireworks start early across the UK


The UK has offered a triumphant 2020 liberation on New Year's Eve like no other, when garden fireworks broke out across the country to welcome a brighter 2021.

The night owls celebrated the New Year with bubbling gushes from the comfort of their living room to toast the end of the undoubtedly impossible 12 months.

All of England – with the exception of 2,000 residents in the Isles of Scilly – is currently under Level 3 and 4 lockdown restrictions to help contain another surge in the virus that hit the world in 2020.

The tight restrictions have halted traditional festivals and fireworks shows – but this hasn't stopped avid night owls from quickly finding alternatives at home.

Thousands tuned in to BBC 1 which was broadcasting a controversial pre-recorded light show online that was made available for viewing yesterday afternoon.

The light show featured 300 drones flying in shapes over the capital, celebrating pandemic heroes from Captain Sir Tom Moore to the NHS.

It also referred to the Black Lives Matter movement, which this year took over the world by creating a fist in the air – a social media controversy with some organizers accused of forcing politics on the show.

Fireworks lit the Newcastle skies tonight in an incredible display that was watched by thousands from their windows.

The normally busy Trafalgar Square in London was eerily deserted when the clock struck midnight and officials put up barriers to keep rule breakers out.

But some Londoners seemed to shove their luck with the crowds gathering in Piccadilly Circus and Westminster Bridge.

Under Tier 4 rules, only two people from different households can meet outdoors, but the police spoke to at least five people.

Scotland's traditional Hogmanay celebrations went online this year. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon previously warned people not to celebrate “responsibly and in accordance with the restrictions”.

She added, “To be clear, and I take no pleasure in saying this, this means no gatherings, no house parties, no first steps. Instead, we should bring 2021 into our own homes with just our own households. & # 39;

LONDON: The brightly lit Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square in the capital stood alone as large barriers blocked pedestrians who broke the rules

LONDON: The normally bustling Trafalgar Square in London was eerily deserted and officials put up barriers to keep rule breakers out

LONDON: The normally bustling Trafalgar Square in London was eerily deserted and officials put up barriers to keep rule breakers out

EDINBURGH: Scotland's traditional Hogmanay celebrations went online and hit the streets this year (pictured). First Minister Nicola Sturgeon previously warned people not to celebrate “responsibly and in accordance with the restrictions”.

EDINBURGH: Scotland's traditional Hogmanay celebrations went online and hit the streets this year (pictured). First Minister Nicola Sturgeon previously warned people not to celebrate “responsibly and in accordance with the restrictions”.

EDINBURGH: The city was almost empty today when traditional festivals were postponed online. Only a handful of people walked the streets

EDINBURGH: The city was almost empty today when traditional festivals were postponed online. Only a handful of people walked the streets

The Mall in London last year
LONDON: Pictures of the deserted streets of London this year (The Mall, picture) contrasted sharply with the busy crowds last year

LONDON: Pictures of the deserted streets of London this year (The Mall, picture) contrasted sharply with the busy crowds last year (left)

In 2019, Edinburgh hosted a major Christmas market in Princes Street Gardens, and several stages with live music were set up on the city streets
However, this year the same streets were almost empty due to the Covid rules

EDINBURGH: In 2019, Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens hosted a major Christmas market and several stages with live music were set up on the city streets (left). However, this year the same streets were almost empty due to Covid rules (right).

The street across from the London Eye was packed with night owls looking to catch a glimpse of the fireworks last year
But since the ad was canceled this year, the same streets were empty

LONDON: The street across from the London Eye was packed with revelers looking to catch a glimpse of the fireworks last year (left). Since the display was canceled this year, the same streets were empty (right).

Birmingham on New Years Eve 2019
The streets of Birmingham were empty tonight

BIRMINGHAM: The streets of Birmingham were empty tonight (right), in stark contrast to the scenes around this time last year (left).

EDINBURGH: The Royal Mile in Edinburgh looked like a ghost town tonight when weary Scots followed government advice and stayed home

EDINBURGH: The Royal Mile in Edinburgh looked like a ghost town tonight when weary Scots followed government advice and stayed home

LONDON: A man holds up a sparkler in front of the London Eye, in an area usually filled with tickets and waiting for the annual fireworks display

LONDON: A man holds up a sparkler in front of the London Eye, in an area usually filled with tickets and waiting for the annual fireworks display

LONDON: Piccadilly Circus was almost empty tonight as revelers stayed home amid the Covid-19 pandemic

LONDON: Piccadilly Circus was almost empty tonight as revelers stayed home amid the Covid-19 pandemic

LONDON: London's China Town was almost empty tonight when New Year's Eve celebrations were canceled amid the Covid pandemic

LONDON: London's China Town was almost empty tonight when New Year's Eve celebrations were canceled amid the Covid pandemic

LONDON: A couple wearing a mask kiss while holding a sparkler in front of the London Eye. The annual fireworks display will not take place this year due to the corona virus

LONDON: A couple wearing a mask kiss while holding a sparkler in front of the London Eye. The annual fireworks display will not take place this year due to the corona virus

BLACKPOOL: Blackpool - a traditional New Year's Eve hotspot - was also abandoned by rule-abiding citizens who stayed at home

BLACKPOOL: Blackpool – a traditional New Year's Eve hotspot – was also abandoned by rule-abiding citizens who stayed at home

LONDON: Rows of police vehicles guard near the London Eye, where this year's fireworks display has been canceled to avoid crowds

LONDON: Rows of police vehicles guard near the London Eye, where this year's fireworks display has been canceled to avoid crowds

BIRMINGHAM: The streets of Birmingham were deserted this evening when the New Year's Eve party was canceled due to Covid

BIRMINGHAM: The streets of Birmingham were deserted this evening when the New Year's Eve party was canceled due to Covid

BIRMINGHAM: The streets of Birmingham were lit by lights on New Years Eve as night owls stayed home amid the Covid-19 pandemic

BIRMINGHAM: The streets of Birmingham were lit up by lights on New Years Eve as revelers stayed home amid the Covid-19 pandemic

LONDON: Police officers were seen on the streets of London on a quiet New Years Eve with most people staying indoors

LONDON: Police officers were seen on the streets of London on a quiet New Years Eve with most people staying indoors

LEEDS: Tier 3 town was abandoned this year, only takeaways from bars and pubs are allowed. The night owls celebrate New Year's Eve inside this year

LEEDS: Tier 3 town was abandoned this year, only takeaways from bars and pubs are allowed. The night owls celebrate New Year's Eve inside this year

LEEDS: The streets of Leeds were bare tonight when the locals stayed home. Lockdown rules mean that New Year's Eve will look very different for countless Brits this year

LEEDS: The streets of Leeds were bare tonight when the locals stayed home. Lockdown rules mean that New Year's Eve will look very different for countless Brits this year

LEEDS: Locals in Leeds had to greet the New Year with alcohol from licenses as pubs and bars stayed closed

LEEDS: Locals in Leeds had to greet the New Year with alcohol from licenses as pubs and bars stayed closed

LONDON: Piccadilly Circus was almost empty tonight as night owls were banned from attending loud New Year's parties due to Covid

LONDON: Piccadilly Circus was almost empty tonight as night owls were banned from attending loud New Year's parties due to Covid

LONDON: A street musician is performing in front of a handful of people in Covent Garden on New Year's Eve this year as the lockdown rule brings normal gatherings to a standstill

LONDON: A street musician is performing in front of a handful of people in Covent Garden on New Year's Eve this year as the lockdown rule brings normal gatherings to a standstill

EDINBURGH: The streets of the Scottish city were empty tonight. Christmas lights and brightly lit shops cast an eerie glow on the sidewalk

EDINBURGH: The streets of the Scottish city were empty tonight. Christmas lights and brightly lit shops cast an eerie glow on the sidewalk

LONDON: Soho's normally busy streets were almost empty tonight as London's bars, pubs and restaurants remain closed

LONDON: Soho's normally busy streets were almost empty tonight as London's bars, pubs and restaurants remain closed

EDINBURGH: Locals were walking past a closed pub in Edinburgh as the online Hogmanay celebrations take place this year

EDINBURGH: Locals were walking past a closed pub in Edinburgh as the online Hogmanay celebrations take place this year

LONDON: Buckingham Palace in London was deserted tonight - in stark contrast to last year - when night owls chose to stay home instead

LONDON: Buckingham Palace in London was deserted tonight – in stark contrast to last year – when night owls chose to stay home instead

CARDIFF: The streets of Cardiff were empty tonight - unlike last year - as the country remains under high alert

CARDIFF: The streets of Cardiff were empty tonight – unlike last year – as the country remains under high alert

LONDON: Police in London guard custodians who break rules on New Year's Eve while the city remains under Tier 4 lockdown

LONDON: Police in London guard custodians who break rules on New Year's Eve while the city remains under Tier 4 lockdown

CARDIFF: The streets of Cardiff are usually a hotspot for avid New Years Eve friends. They were empty this year due to lockdown

CARDIFF: The streets of Cardiff are usually a hotspot for avid New Years Eve friends. They were empty this year due to lockdown

LONDON: A trio of police officers watch over Leicester Square this evening as two pedestrians walk past. The government is hoping people will stick to Tier 4 rules and celebrate New Year's Eve at home

LONDON: A trio of police officers watch over Leicester Square this evening as two pedestrians walk past. The government is hoping people will stick to Tier 4 rules and celebrate New Year's Eve at home

LONDON: Parliament Square is empty except for a few police officers standing guard near a gate. People across the country celebrate New Year's Eve differently this year and have their celebrations at home

LONDON: Parliament Square is empty except for a few police officers standing guard near a gate. People across the country celebrate New Year's Eve differently this year and have their celebrations at home

LONDON: Two police officers are speaking to a group of people tonight as Tier 4 restrictions mean New Years Eve celebrations must be in your own home instead of celebrating

LONDON: Two police officers are speaking to a group of people tonight as Tier 4 restrictions mean New Years Eve celebrations must be in your own home instead of celebrating

LONDON: The London Eye looks lonely in central London this evening. The usual New Year's Eve crowds are advised to stay home and celebrate safely

LONDON: The London Eye looks lonely in central London this evening. The usual New Year's Eve crowds are advised to stay home and celebrate safely

NEWCASTLE: There are some people standing outside a restaurant on Newcastle & # 39; s Quayside tonight. Some of them are holding drinks and enjoying them

NEWCASTLE: There are some people standing outside a restaurant on Newcastle & # 39; s Quayside tonight. Some of them are holding drinks and enjoying them

LONDON: Police officers and stewards can be seen in Piccadilly Circus on New Year's Eve in an almost deserted London

LONDON: Police officers and stewards can be seen in Piccadilly Circus on New Year's Eve in an almost deserted London

LONDON: People are standing outside a pub that is open for take-away drinks on New Years Eve. London is in Tier 4, which means pubs are take-out only

LONDON: People are standing outside a pub that is open for take-away drinks on New Years Eve. London is in Tier 4, which means pubs are take-out only

LONDON: The mall that led to Buckingham Palace in London was almost deserted when New Years Eve parties were closed under Covid's rules

LONDON: The mall that led to Buckingham Palace in London was almost deserted when New Years Eve parties were closed under Covid's rules

GLASGOW: The party hotspot Glasgow was also empty tonight as the night owls were asked to celebrate at home this year

GLASGOW: The party hotspot Glasgow was also empty tonight as the night owls were asked to celebrate at home this year

GLASGOW: Hogmanay in Scotland went online this year to ensure that there are no large crowds gathering in violation of Covid's lockdown rules

GLASGOW: Hogmanay in Scotland went online this year to ensure that there are no large crowds gathering in violation of Covid's lockdown rules

ISLES OF SCILLY: Unlike the rest of the UK, Isles of Scilly locals have been pictured having a New Years Eve drink in the only three pubs in England that are open tonight

ISLES OF SCILLY: Unlike the rest of the UK, Isles of Scilly locals have been pictured having a New Years Eve drink in the only three pubs in England that are open tonight

ISLES OF SCILLY: There are usually around a dozen pubs in the archipelago, but some are closed this year so punters will have few options to greet in 2021 (some night owls are pictured) but more than on the mainland

ISLES OF SCILLY: There are usually around a dozen pubs in the archipelago, but some are closed this year so punters will have few options to greet in 2021 (some night owls are pictured) but more than on the mainland

ISLES OF SCILLY: The island's 2,000 residents (some night owls pictured) are the only part of England that is still in Tier 1. All other parts of the country have moved to levels 3 or 4

ISLES OF SCILLY: The island's 2,000 residents (some night owls pictured) are the only part of England that is still in Tier 1. All other parts of the country have moved to levels 3 or 4

Blackpool – another traditional New Year's Eve hotspot – has also been abandoned by rules-abiding citizens who stayed at home.

Leeds, Newcastle and Cardiff also saw near-empty streets when Covid-aware locals stayed inside.

Meanwhile, at Primrose Hill, revelers gathered in their outdoor household groups to watch the fireworks from the people in the garden break out over the city skyline.

In stark contrast to the rest of the UK, Isles of Scilly locals have been portrayed having a New Year's Eve drink in the only three pubs in England open tonight.

The islands' 2,000 population is the only part of England still in Tier 1. All other parts of the country have moved to levels 3 or 4.

There are typically around a dozen pubs in the archipelago, but some are closed this year so punters will have few options to greet them in 2021, but more than on the mainland.

Although the rules for banning gatherings are clear, there are still thousands plan to attend illegal raves and street parties. According to a YouGov poll, 96 percent of Britons plan to stay home tonight.

Countless Twitter users have a head start on celebrating at home shared funny memes as they said goodbye to 2020. Others shared pictures of their quiet New Years Eve indoors.

LONDON: A large group of people appear to be celebrating New Year's Eve together in Piccadilly Circus, moments after police officers and stewards left the area to patrol other parts of the capital

LONDON: A large group of people appear to be celebrating New Year's Eve together in Piccadilly Circus, moments after police officers and stewards left the area to patrol other parts of the capital

LONDON: Police spoke to a crowd that had gathered in Piccadilly Circus on New Years Eve. According to Tier 4 rules, people can only meet one person from another household outdoors

LONDON: Police spoke to a crowd that had gathered in Piccadilly Circus on New Years Eve. According to Tier 4 rules, people can only meet one person from another household outdoors

LONDON: On New Year's Eve, revelers gathered on Westminster Bridge for a selfie in front of the London Eye

LONDON: On New Year's Eve, revelers gathered on Westminster Bridge for a selfie in front of the London Eye

LONDON: A group of youngsters gathered on Westminster Bridge in London on New Years Eve as they celebrated the end of 2020

LONDON: A group of youngsters gathered on Westminster Bridge in London on New Years Eve as they celebrated the end of 2020

LONDON: A group of people posed for a picture on Westminster Bridge in London. The area is usually packed with people who want to see the fireworks

LONDON: A group of people posed for a picture on Westminster Bridge in London. The area is usually packed with people who want to see the fireworks

LONDON: On New Years Eve people buy nuts from a street vendor on Westminster Bridge

LONDON: On New Years Eve people buy nuts from a street vendor on Westminster Bridge

LONDON: Shaftesbury Avenue is unusually quiet on New Years Eve with Covid-conscious Brits partying indoors

LONDON: Shaftesbury Avenue is unusually quiet on New Years Eve with Covid-conscious Brits partying indoors

LONDON: A few people stand around a large Christmas tree in Covent Garden in central London as thousands prepare to celebrate 2020 from home instead of partying or having normal festivals

LONDON: A few people stand around a large Christmas tree in Covent Garden in central London as thousands prepare to celebrate 2020 from home instead of partying or having normal festivals

LONDON: The Covent Garden Christmas tree is a popular spot for New Years Eve walkers tonight as small crowds gather around it

LONDON: The Covent Garden Christmas tree is a popular spot for New Years Eve walkers tonight as small crowds gather around it

EDINBURGH: The icy streets of Edinburgh reflected the light of the street lamps tonight as the sidewalks stayed empty

EDINBURGH: The icy streets of Edinburgh reflected the light of the street lamps tonight as the sidewalks stayed empty

EDINBURGH: A salt shaker can be seen on the streets of Edinburgh tonight as temperatures drop in the Scottish city

EDINBURGH: A salt shaker can be seen on the streets of Edinburgh tonight as temperatures drop in the Scottish city

EDINBURGH: Snow can be seen on the sidewalk in Edinburgh as Covid Lockdown keeps locals inside on New Years Eve

EDINBURGH: Auf dem Bürgersteig in Edinburgh ist Schnee zu sehen, da Covid Lockdown die Einheimischen an Silvester drinnen hält

EDINBURGH: Die Royal Mile in Edinburgh war leer, bis auf ein paar Silvesterwanderer, die dem eisigen Wetter trotzen

EDINBURGH: Die Royal Mile in Edinburgh war leer, bis auf ein paar Silvesterwanderer, die dem eisigen Wetter trotzen

NEWCASTLE: Der Stadtrat hat am Silvesterabend ein erstaunliches Feuerwerk über Newcastle veranstaltet. Das Feuerwerk brach an fünf geheimen Orten aus, um zu vermeiden, dass sich Menschenmengen bildeten, um sie zu beobachten

NEWCASTLE: Der Stadtrat hat am Silvesterabend ein erstaunliches Feuerwerk über Newcastle veranstaltet. Das Feuerwerk brach an fünf geheimen Orten aus, um zu vermeiden, dass sich Menschenmengen bildeten, um sie zu beobachten

NEWCASTLE: Feuerwerk beleuchtete heute Abend die Skyline der Stadt, als unzählige Briten aufgrund von Sperrbeschränkungen bequem von zu Hause aus zuschauten. Das Feuerwerk wurde um 18 Uhr an geheimen Orten ausgelöst

NEWCASTLE: Feuerwerk beleuchtete heute Abend die Skyline der Stadt, als unzählige Briten aufgrund von Sperrbeschränkungen bequem von zu Hause aus zuschauten. Das Feuerwerk wurde um 18 Uhr an geheimen Orten ausgelöst

NEWCASTLE: Die Briten haben ihre Feierlichkeiten zu einem Silvesterabend wie kein anderer begonnen, da im ganzen Land frühe Feuerwerke abgefeuert werden, um bis 2020 eine gute Befreiung zu erreichen. Der Stadtrat von Newcastle hat die Ausstellung von geheimen Orten aus gestartet

NEWCASTLE: Die Briten haben ihre Feierlichkeiten zu einem Silvesterabend wie kein anderer begonnen, da im ganzen Land frühe Feuerwerke abgefeuert werden, um bis 2020 eine gute Befreiung zu erreichen. Der Stadtrat von Newcastle hat die Ausstellung von geheimen Orten aus gestartet

NEWCASTLE: Heute Abend erleuchteten Feuerwerke den Himmel über Newcastle in einer unglaublichen Darstellung, die von Tausenden aus ihren Fenstern beobachtet wurde

NEWCASTLE: Heute Abend erleuchteten Feuerwerke den Himmel über Newcastle in einer unglaublichen Darstellung, die von Tausenden aus ihren Fenstern beobachtet wurde

LONDON: Ein einzelner Fußgänger überquert heute Abend die Straße in Soho im Zentrum von London. Der Bereich, der normalerweise voller Leben ist, ist an Silvester völlig leer, und die Menschen feiern das Ende des Jahres von zu Hause aus

LONDON: Ein einzelner Fußgänger überquert heute Abend die Straße in Soho im Zentrum von London. Der Bereich, der normalerweise voller Leben ist, ist an Silvester völlig leer, und die Menschen feiern das Ende des Jahres von zu Hause aus

LONDON: Zwei Polizisten bewachen heute Abend im Zentrum von London, um sicherzustellen, dass die Menschen die Tier 4-Beschränkungen einhalten und an Silvester zu Hause bleiben

LONDON: Two police officers stand guard in central London this evening to ensure people stick to the Tier 4 restrictions and stay at home this New Years Eve

LONDON: A cyclist makes their way down a street in Soho, London, tonight as a small number of others wander along the pavement

LONDON: A cyclist makes their way down a street in Soho, London, tonight as a small number of others wander along the pavement

LONDON: A single car is see parked on a deserted Frith Street in Soho this evening. The area is normally packed with people celebrating the end of the year, but at the end of 2020, the streets are quiet

LONDON: A single car is see parked on a deserted Frith Street in Soho this evening. The area is normally packed with people celebrating the end of the year, but at the end of 2020, the streets are quiet

NEWCASTLE: A man carrying a crate of beer walks down an abandoned street in the heart of Newcastle tonight. The city centre usually boasts large crowds on New Year's Eve but this year, thanks to lockdown restrictions, the area is a ghost town

NEWCASTLE: A man carrying a crate of beer walks down an abandoned street in the heart of Newcastle tonight. The city centre usually boasts large crowds on New Year's Eve but this year, thanks to lockdown restrictions, the area is a ghost town

NEWCASTLE: The city centre which normally hosts thousands on New Year's Eve is completely deserted. Tier 4 restrictions in the city mean people are staying home to welcome the new year

NEWCASTLE: The city centre which normally hosts thousands on New Year's Eve is completely deserted. Tier 4 restrictions in the city mean people are staying home to welcome the new year

NEWCASTLE: A lone person walks down an abandoned street in the heart of Newcastle city centre, which is being patrolled by police to ensure people don't break lockdown rules

NEWCASTLE: A lone person walks down an abandoned street in the heart of Newcastle city centre, which is being patrolled by police to ensure people don't break lockdown rules

NEWCASTLE: Streets such as Grey Street (pictured) at the centre of Newcastle usually see thousands of people out celebrating to welcome in the new year, but at the end of 2020, the streets are empty

NEWCASTLE: Streets such as Grey Street (pictured) at the centre of Newcastle usually see thousands of people out celebrating to welcome in the new year, but at the end of 2020, the streets are empty

NEWCASTLE: A single police officer wanders the streets in Newcastle city centre to ensure people stick to the Tier 4 lockdown rules during New Years Eve

NEWCASTLE: A single police officer wanders the streets in Newcastle city centre to ensure people stick to the Tier 4 lockdown rules during New Years Eve

It was a different story across the world, however, as nations who avoided the worst of the pandemic were able to have a more-normal celebration.

In New Zealand, where only 25 people have ever died of Covid-19 and restrictions are virtually non-existent, crowds of partygoers packed into Auckland streets for midnight fireworks.

In Australia, which has also fended off the worst of the pandemic, life was normal enough for some revellers to gather in Melbourne and Sydney.

And in Wuhan – where the virus first surfaced at the very end of 2019 before spiralling catastrophically around the globe – hundreds gathered at landmarks around the city to welcome in the new year.

In what is sure to spark envy in many countries still subject to strict lockdown measures, party-goers were filmed crowding into a live music event in the former-Covid epicentre.

Many opted to go mask-free inside the venue where revellers danced just inches from each other.

But for most of the world's seven billion people, a grinding year is ending with typically muted festivities, with fireworks, pyre burnings and live performances set to be watched from home or cancelled altogether.

From France to Latvia to Brazil, police and military personnel are being deployed to enforce night-time curfews and bans on large gatherings are enforced, with much of the world still in lockdown and the vaccine race only just beginning.

WUHAN: Balloons were released into the sky in an incredible display in Wuhan. Huge crowds gathered in the city which was the Covid-19 epicentre less than a year ago

WUHAN: Balloons were released into the sky in an incredible display in Wuhan. Huge crowds gathered in the city which was the Covid-19 epicentre less than a year ago

WUHAN: Amazed locals took photos of balloons being released into the sky to bring in 2021. The crowds weren't socially distanced but many opted to wear face masks

WUHAN: Amazed locals took photos of balloons being released into the sky to bring in 2021. The crowds weren't socially distanced but many opted to wear face masks

WUHAN: In what is sure to spark envy in many countries still subject to strict lockdown measures, party-goers were filmed crowding into a live music event in the former-Covid epicentre

WUHAN: In what is sure to spark envy in many countries still subject to strict lockdown measures, party-goers were filmed crowding into a live music event in the former-Covid epicentre

WUHAN: Partygoers, mostly wearing protective face masks, gathered in the streets of Wuhan to welcome 2021

WUHAN: Partygoers, mostly wearing protective face masks, gathered in the streets of Wuhan to welcome 2021

WUHAN: Partygoers posed for a selfie in front of buildings lit up in bright colours. Wuhan had a more-normal New Year's Eve than many others across the globe

WUHAN: Partygoers posed for a selfie in front of buildings lit up in bright colours. Wuhan had a more-normal New Year's Eve than many others across the globe

WUHAN: Huge crowds were seen on the streets of Wuhan on New Year's Eve. Once the virus epicentre, lockdown rules have since been significantly relaxed in the city

WUHAN: Huge crowds were seen on the streets of Wuhan on New Year's Eve. Once the virus epicentre, lockdown rules have since been significantly relaxed in the city

WUHAN: Crowds of people were seen on the streets of Wuhan tonight. Many looked overjoyed to say goodbye to 2020

WUHAN: Crowds of people were seen on the streets of Wuhan tonight. Many looked overjoyed to say goodbye to 2020

WUHAN: Vast crowds were seen gathered on the streets of Wuhan as a new year countdown ushers in 2021

WUHAN: Vast crowds were seen gathered on the streets of Wuhan as a new year countdown ushers in 2021

WUHAN: Huge crowds attended a live music event in Wuhan. Many people were seen dancing along to performers on New Year's Eve

WUHAN: Huge crowds attended a live music event in Wuhan. Many people were seen dancing along to performers on New Year's Eve

WUHAN: Incredible images of the huge crowds of people gathered on the streets of Wuhan were shared to social media

WUHAN: Incredible images of the huge crowds of people gathered on the streets of Wuhan were shared to social media

WUHAN: Women wearing masks hold up balloons as the Chinese city which shot to infamy in 2020 after giving the world the coronavirus counted down to 2021

WUHAN: Women wearing masks hold up balloons as the Chinese city which shot to infamy in 2020 after giving the world the coronavirus counted down to 2021

WUHAN: Thousands gathered at popular landmarks across the city centre for the countdown to 2021. Some revellers said they were being cautious but were not particularly worried

WUHAN: Thousands gathered at popular landmarks across the city centre for the countdown to 2021. Some revellers said they were being cautious but were not particularly worried

WUHAN: In Wuhan, where the virus first surfaced at the very end of 2019 before spiralling catastrophically around the globe, revellers partied to welcome the new year in

WUHAN: Revellers were seen dancing - with several not wearing masks - to welcome the new year in

WUHAN: In Wuhan, where the virus first surfaced at the very end of 2019 before spiralling catastrophically around the globe, revellers partied to welcome the new year in

WUHAN: People pose for pictures on the banks of the Yangtze River on New Year's Eve in the city which became synonymous with the virus in the early weeks of the outbreak

WUHAN: People pose for pictures on the banks of the Yangtze River on New Year's Eve in the city which became synonymous with the virus in the early weeks of the outbreak

VIETNAM: Pyrotechnics explode over Turtle Tower on Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi amid the coronavirus pandemic

VIETNAM: Pyrotechnics explode over Turtle Tower on Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi amid the coronavirus pandemic

IRAQ: People gather at Tahrir square before the New Year celebrations in Baghdad this evening

IRAQ: People gather at Tahrir square before the New Year celebrations in Baghdad this evening

THAILAND: Fireworks erupt over Chao Phraya river during the fireworks show for New Year's Eve in Bangkok

THAILAND: Fireworks erupt over Chao Phraya river during the fireworks show for New Year's Eve in Bangkok

INDIA: Delhi police officers patrol at a checkpoint near Connaught Place ahead of night curfew from 11pm to 6am to avoid gatherings for the New Year celebrations due to the pandemic

INDIA: Delhi police officers patrol at a checkpoint near Connaught Place ahead of night curfew from 11pm to 6am to avoid gatherings for the New Year celebrations due to the pandemic

DUBAI: Dubai celebrates the New Year in India by reflecting its national flag on the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. India and the United Arab Emirates share close ties in many sectors

DUBAI: Dubai celebrates the New Year in India by reflecting its national flag on the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. India and the United Arab Emirates share close ties in many sectors

INDONESIA: Celebrations tonight in Jakarta, as an array of red and yellow fireworks light up the sky

INDONESIA: Celebrations tonight in Jakarta, as an array of red and yellow fireworks light up the sky

SINGAPORE: Crowds gathered in Singapore to welcome in the New Year. Many took photographs while wearing their protective face masks

SINGAPORE: Crowds gathered in Singapore to welcome in the New Year. Many took photographs while wearing their protective face masks

SINGAPORE: Crowds were seen gathered along a bridge to usher in the new year. There was no firework show this year, but many opted to head outdoors to see the lights

SINGAPORE: Crowds were seen gathered along a bridge to usher in the new year. There was no firework show this year, but many opted to head outdoors to see the lights

HONG KONG: Two women wearing light-up head bands pose for a photograph in Hong Kong as they bringin the new year

HONG KONG: Two women wearing light-up head bands pose for a photograph in Hong Kong as they bringin the new year

HONG KONG: Crowds of people - all wearing face masks - gathered along the water front in Hong Kong to welcome 2021

HONG KONG: Crowds of people – all wearing face masks – gathered along the water front in Hong Kong to welcome 2021

HONG KONG: Amazed onlookers snapped pictures of the city lights in Hong Kong. The amazing skyline lit up the night's sky

HONG KONG: Amazed onlookers snapped pictures of the city lights in Hong Kong. The amazing skyline lit up the night's sky

TAIWAN: Huge crowds gathered to watch the new year fireworks in Taipei on New Year's Eve. The spectacular shower of lights erupted from the sides of a building

TAIWAN: Huge crowds gathered to watch the new year fireworks in Taipei on New Year's Eve. The spectacular shower of lights erupted from the sides of a building

AUCKLAND: In scenes unthinkable in most of the world, 2020 ended with crowds of revellers packed into Queen Street in New Zealand's largest city, as the country became one of the first to greet the dawn of 2021

AUCKLAND: In scenes unthinkable in most of the world, 2020 ended with crowds of revellers packed into Queen Street in New Zealand's largest city, as the country became one of the first to greet the dawn of 2021

MELBOURNE: These two partygoers started the new year with a kiss as revellers greeted the dawn of 2021 with a party at Federation Square in Australia's second-largest city today

MELBOURNE: These two partygoers started the new year with a kiss as revellers greeted the dawn of 2021 with a party at Federation Square in Australia's second-largest city today

QUEENSLAND: Partygoers in Queensland paused for a snack while wearing 'Happy New Year' hats. Australia managed to avoid the worst of the pandemic

QUEENSLAND: Partygoers in Queensland paused for a snack while wearing 'Happy New Year' hats. Australia managed to avoid the worst of the pandemic

MELBOURNE: Vast crowds of people sat on the grass in Melbourne as they waited to welcome in the new year. Some wore masks while many others didn't

MELBOURNE: Vast crowds of people sat on the grass in Melbourne as they waited to welcome in the new year. Some wore masks while many others didn't

MELBOURNE: Two women sat on other people's shoulders as they celebrated New Year's Eve on a beach in Melbourne. Several onlookers filmed to festivities

MELBOURNE: Two women sat on other people's shoulders as they celebrated New Year's Eve on a beach in Melbourne. Several onlookers filmed to festivities

MELBOURNE: Huge crowds gathered on a beach in St Kilda, Melbourne, on New Year's Eve. Many didn't wear masks

MELBOURNE: Huge crowds gathered on a beach in St Kilda, Melbourne, on New Year's Eve. Many didn't wear masks

MELBOURNE: Partygoers went mask-free as they danced the last few moments of 2020 away in St Kilda, Melbourne, tonight

MELBOURNE: Partygoers went mask-free as they danced the last few moments of 2020 away in St Kilda, Melbourne, tonight

AUCKLAND: Fireworks streamed from the SkyTower in New Zealand in the first moments of January 1, 2021 as an exhausted world started to put a year of disease, death and unparalleled restrictions on normal life behind it

AUCKLAND: Fireworks streamed from the SkyTower in New Zealand in the first moments of January 1, 2021 as an exhausted world started to put a year of disease, death and unparalleled restrictions on normal life behind it

QUEENSLAND: One couple kissed to welcome in the New Year in Queensland. Australia has fended off the worst of the pandemic

QUEENSLAND: One couple kissed to welcome in the New Year in Queensland. Australia has fended off the worst of the pandemic

MELBOURNE: A woman was seen posing for pictures on the streets of St Kilda, Melbourne, as she welcomed in the new year

MELBOURNE: One woman poses for the camera on New Year's Eve

MELBOURNE: A woman was seen posing for pictures on the streets of St Kilda, Melbourne, as she welcomed in the new year

QUEENSLAND: A crowd of revellers dressed in matching white outfits and wearing 'Happy New Year' crowns pose for a photo

QUEENSLAND: A crowd of revellers dressed in matching white outfits and wearing 'Happy New Year' crowns pose for a photo

QUEENSLAND: One group posed for a picture with their arms around each other as they welcomed in the new year in Australia

QUEENSLAND: One group posed for a picture with their arms around each other as they welcomed in the new year in Australia

SYDNEY: The fireworks were as spectacular as ever at Sydney Harbour Bridge but there were few spectators in the harbour to greet the opening moments of January 1, 2021

MELBOURNE: In In Australia, which has also fended off the worst of the pandemic, life was normal enough for small crowds to gather in Melbourne and Sydney

MELBOURNE: In In Australia, which has also fended off the worst of the pandemic, life was normal enough for small crowds to gather in Melbourne and Sydney

Huge crowds in Auckland

Revellers mark the new year in Auckland

AUCKLAND: In New Zealand, where only 25 people have ever died of Covid-19 and restrictions are virtually non-existent, crowds of partygoers packed into Auckland streets to mark the new year

SYDNEY: Fireworks explode over Sydney's opera house and harbour bridge as celebrations begin in the first seconds of 2021

SYDNEY: Fireworks explode over Sydney's opera house and harbour bridge as celebrations begin in the first seconds of 2021

AUCKLAND: Fireworks went off as New Zealand became the first major country to cross the invisible threshold and enter 2021, after a year in which it became a rare success story during the global coronavirus pandemic

AUCKLAND: Fireworks went off as New Zealand became the first major country to cross the invisible threshold and enter 2021, after a year in which it became a rare success story during the global coronavirus pandemic

MELBOURNE: Two people take a selfie in front of a neon Happy New Year sign in the last hours of December 31 in Australia

MELBOURNE: Two people take a selfie in front of a neon Happy New Year sign in the last hours of December 31 in Australia

A well-dressed woman in Melbourne

Two people on the streets of Melbourne

MELBOURNE: Some revellers were seen in the city on New Year's Eve, in a part of Australia which saw a major outbreak in the Southern Hemisphere winter but has since returned to very low levels of infection

SYDNEY: New Year revellers enjoyed drinks at the Opera Bar in Sydney as midnight approached, with the firework display shortened and crowds kept to a minimum because of coronavirus

SYDNEY: New Year revellers enjoyed drinks at the Opera Bar in Sydney as midnight approached, with the firework display shortened and crowds kept to a minimum because of coronavirus

VLADIVOSTOK: Fireworks explode over the city centre as Russia's far east became one of the first places to see 2021

VLADIVOSTOK: Fireworks explode over the city centre as Russia's far east became one of the first places to see 2021

WUHAN: In the city where the coronavirus first surfaced a year ago, a light show was projected on buildings by a river on New Year's Eve as China holds low-key events to mark January 1 in a country where the Lunar New Year is more prominent

WUHAN: In the city where the coronavirus first surfaced a year ago, a light show was projected on buildings by a river on New Year's Eve as China holds low-key events to mark January 1 in a country where the Lunar New Year is more prominent

NEW YORK CITY: A stage was put up in Times Square where the famous ball drop will take place at midnight, but police will block spectators from gathering to get a glimpse

Although New Zealand is still isolated by international border closures, months of zero recorded cases in the community have allowed life to return to relative normality – with crowds gathering for fireworks in Auckland in scenes which would seem unthinkable to most of the world.

In Sydney, fireworks lit up the glittering harbour with a dazzling display at midnight, but few spectators were there to watch in person.

Plans to allow crowds were scrapped amid a cluster of around 150 new infections that have seen travel to and from Sydney severely restricted.

People were only allowed in Sydney city centre if they have a restaurant reservation or are one of five guests of an inner-city apartment resident. People will not be allowed in the city centre without a permit.

'I think everybody is looking towards 2021 as a fresh beginning and a fresh start,' Karen Roberts, among the lucky few who were allowed past checkpoints around the area, said at a bar near the Sydney Opera House.

Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide cancelled their displays to avoid large gatherings and possible community transmission of the virus.

Kiribati and Samoa were the first to cross the threshold of 2021 at 10am GMT, with the last Pacific islands set to follow them 26 hours later.

Although the Pacific islands were spared the worst ravages of the pandemic, border restrictions, curfews and lockdowns meant this New Year's Eve was still a little different.

At the palm-fringed Taumeasina resort in Samoa, manager Tuiataga Nathan Bucknall was pleased to be open without a limit on guest numbers, but thanks to a state of emergency stopped serving alcohol at 11 pm.

In harder-hit countries such as Italy – where shocking images of makeshift morgues and exhausted medics first awoke the world to the horror of the pandemic last spring – curfews and lockdowns are still in force.

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