Revellers hoping to enjoy the annual midnight New Years Eve’s fireworks in Sydney’s CBD will now require tickets to the famed event, or face fines from the police.
Ticketed vantage spots will also be exclusively reserved for frontline workers, and firefighters said Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
“Unless you’ve been given a ticket to one of the designated areas or unless you have a booking at a restaurant or cafe, please do not expect to go to the city CBD,” Berejiklian said.
The 9 p.m. slot for the family-friendly fireworks is also cancelled this year, leaving the main midnight show the only fireworks display on the harbour for the end of 2020.
Arrangements for the night are still being finalised, but it is expected that only a limited number of spots will be accessible to the general public.
Additionally, the NSW government will restrict hospitality venues in the CBD to a limited number of patrons with pre-booked tickets to comply with COVID-safe restrictions.
“We are encouraging people if they can afford it to consider spending New Year’s Eve at a hospitality venue to support that industry,” Berejiklian said.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore believes the State Government is best equipped to manage the increased health, transport, and crowd management challenges during the pandemic.
“Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres has assured me that the State Government will take full responsibility for preparations and funding of the fireworks, crowd management, safety, traffic and transport, and is prepared to cancel the event if there is a spike in Covid cases,” Moore said.
Tuesday is the second day New South Wales has not recorded any local COVID-19 transmissions. However, authorities are still unsure as to how the virus progressed to the Southern Highlands regions outside of Sydney.
NSW Health thanked those who came forward for testing but voiced concern that those in the broader Southern Highlands area may have an unrecognised infection.
“NSW Health is calling on people in this area to come forward for testing if they have even the mildest COVID-19 symptoms,” the latest NSW COVID-19 Update declared.
Those near Rouse Hill in Sydney’s northwest are similarly being encouraged to get tested following the detection of the virus in sewage samples taken on Nov. 5.