Sydney’s CBD will only be open to people with tickets this New Year’s Eve, as the state government tries to make the celebrations less of a coronavirus hazard. Oh, and the fireworks will be way, way smaller than in previous years, too.
While restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes will be allowed to take bookings for NYE like they are currently, punters won’t be allowed to watch the fireworks in public spaces like at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, Circular Quay or Blue’s Point.
“We’re confident that every single venue in and around the CBD will be full,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.
“So long as you have a dedicated ticket and somewhere to go, you will be allowed into the CBD.
“But in terms of public spaces where normally thousands and thousands of people congregate – that won’t be happening this year.”
However, a handful of dedicated spaces have been allocated for front-line workers only, as a thank you for their work during the pandemic.
There’s also one other option to get into the CBD on NYE: offices.
If you happen to work in an office in the CBD, you’ll be allowed to have some kind of small gathering and, if your building is in the right spot, watch the fireworks.
“We’re making sure there’s COVIDSafe plans for office spaces, where employees can get together in a COVIDSafe way as well to enjoy the fireworks,” she added.
As for the fireworks themselves, they’ll be scaled right back compared to previous years. First and foremost, the 9 PM family fireworks have been scrapped completely.
“It’ll just be a couple of minutes at midnight, but I think it’s important to mark that celebration,” Berejiklian said.
That’s because responsibility for the celebrations has been handed over from the City of Sydney to the NSW Government for this year.
With that in mind, there’s not much incentive to scramble down to the harbour anyway, considering the firework show will be pretty small.
Berejiklian called the solution “the best of both worlds” because she expects most people to celebrate NYE either at home or at a local pub or restaurant.
“I hope this is the only year we do that, but I think everybody appreciates that after the year we’ve had, that it’s important for us to stay COVIDSafe,” she said.