Cities that are canceling their big New Year's Eve events -- and those still going forward

By Forrest Brown, CNN

    (CNN) -- For awhile there, it appeared we might be able to ring in New Year's Eve in major cities across the world with something resembling the big celebrations of yore.

Another Covid surge and the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus has dashed those hopes -- at least in some part of the world.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is still pondering what to do about the renowned Times Square celebration and has promised an answer by Christmas. For now, it's still scheduled, and all guests must be fully vaccinated to attend.

Some major cities in Europe, where the spread of Omicron has been startling, have already announced they're flat-out canceling plans or paring down.

Other cities with iconic celebrations still plan to host their events.

As of December 21, this what some of the world cities with traditionally huge New Year's Eve events are doing.

Canceled events

The following cities (or nations) have already announced they're canceling their big shindigs:


Germany will impose strict contact restrictions to curb the spread of Covid starting on December 28 and prohibit New Year's Eve gatherings, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced on Tuesday, December 21.

That means no big fireworks gathering in Berlin, the capital, nor in other big gathering spots such as Munich and Frankfurt.

From December 28, a maximum of 10 people will be allowed to meet in groups, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or recovered, Scholz said. Children 13 and younger are exempt from the new contact restrictions.


Public New Year's Eve celebrations in Scotland will be canceled, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday, December 21.

In a statement, Sturgeon explained details for post-Christmas restrictions on large events to blunt the spread of Omicron.

Sturgeon said the move will "also mean unfortunately that large-scale Hogmanay celebrations -- including that planned here in our capital city -- will not proceed. I know how disappointing this will be for those looking forward to these events."


A planned New Year's Eve event in London has been canceled over Covid concerns, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted on Monday, December 20.

"Due to the surge in Covid cases, we've taken the difficult decision to cancel our NYE event in Trafalgar Square," said the tweet from Khan's verified account. "The safety of all Londoners must come first."

A statement attached to the tweet said the celebration had been expected to host 6,500 people in Trafalgar Square.

Instead, a program will be broadcast at midnight on BBC One, Khan said.


Paris has canceled its traditional fireworks display over the Champs-Elysées Avenue to welcome the New Year because of the renewed coronavirus surge.

"The fireworks will not take place, nor unfortunately will there be any DJ sets," the mayor's office told AFP in a report on

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Friday, December 17, that major public parties and fireworks would be banned on New Year's Eve and recommended that even vaccinated people take a self-test before getting together for year-end parties, according to Reuters.


In Italy, Rome is among several cities that have decided to cancel festivities over Covid health concerns.

The Campania region has also banned feasts and alcohol consumption in public areas from December 23 to January 1. Venice also canceled its open air concerts and New Year's Eve fireworks.


New Year's Eve celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's party capital, have been canceled because of rising coronavirus concerns, Mayor Eduardo Paes tweeted on Saturday, December 18.

"We respect science. As there are divergent opinions among scientific committees, we will always stick with the most restrictive," Paes wrote.

"I make the decision with sadness, but we cannot organize the celebration without the guarantee of all the health authorities. Unfortunately, we cannot organize a party of this size, in which we have a lot of expenses and logistics involved, without the minimum time for preparation," the mayor said.

Events still scheduled

Not all the world's cities have called off their celebrations. Here are some of the cities traditionally renowned for their exceptional fireworks and big New Year's Eve events that were still moving forward with their plans as of December 21:


Thailand's capital will hold its celebrations, but with some some safety caveats. According to the Bangkok Post, only open-air venues are allowed. Attendees must be fully vaccinated, tested within 72 hours and registered to attend.


South Africa's beautiful seaside city is still allowing NYE events for its residents, according to its tourism website, but with lots of safety checks in place. Those include early venue closings and strict curfews. Find more details of South Africa's safety measures here.


The pyrotechnics at the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, are still planned, according to The emirate is requiring visitors who want to be at the celebration to register using the U by Emaar app to receive individual QR codes that will allow access.


America's gambling magnet still plans to launch fireworks from the top of eight hotel-casinos on the Strip for eight minutes, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. A downtown Las Vegas fireworks show will also be held.


Australia's biggest city is going ahead with plans, but you'll need tickets to attend this year, according the the city of Sydney's New Year's Eve website. Full vaccinations are not required but are highly encouraged.


The largest city on the island of Taiwan plans on holding its annual countdown show and fireworks at the towering Taipei 101 skyscraper, according to the Taipei Times and other local media.

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Share this article: