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2022 begins in the Pacific under COVID shadow: Live news | Coronavirus pandemic News
Many large parties and fireworks displays cancelled or scaled down due to a rise in coronavirus infections across the world.
The year 2022 is here in some countries, with the inhabitants of the South Pacific islands of Samoa and Kiribati the first to start the new year at 10:00 GMT, and New Zealand following an hour later.
In Australia, Sydney kicked off 2022 with six tonnes of colourful fireworks against the imposing backdrop of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
It will take 26 hours, up to 12:00 GMT on Saturday, for the entire globe to ring in the new year.
Many large parties and fireworks displays have been cancelled or scaled down due to a rise in coronavirus infections across the world.
Here are the latest updates:
32 mins ago (14:21 GMT)
Sydney kicked off 2022 with six tons of colourful fireworks against the imposing backdrop of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
Unlike last year, tens of thousands of spectators were again admitted this time to watch the spectacle live, despite a sharp rise in coronavirus numbers in the region. However, all participants had to buy a ticket for one of about 30 viewing points.
Citizens without a reservation or vaccination should avoid the city centre if possible, organisers had advised.
In the archipelago of Tonga, the forces of nature did not take a break on New Year’s Eve.
Since Christmas, the authorities have been warning against approaching the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano, which last erupted in 2014, but which is active again and spewing ash and gas into the air.
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