SYDNEY: Thousands of people were expected to descend to ticketed vantage points to watch Sydney's famous New Year's Eve fireworks despite record-shattering numbers of infections in New South Wales.
Sydney on Wednesday released details about its fireworks display, for which some 17,000 tickets for vantage points managed by the city were already sold, according to news agency AAP.
The agency quoted a city spokesperson as saying they could not predict the turnout for the pyrotechnic show, but five of the six locations managed by the city were sold out and tickets for another 25 locations, with capacity for nearly 87,000 people, were still on sale.
Vaccination and the use of masks will not be mandatory to attend the ticketed venues, though encouraged, organizers said.
Six tonnes of fireworks were expected to be launched across two displays at 9 pm and midnight were expected to be launched, according to a Wednesday press release. More than 25,000 "shooting effects" will be fired from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and a further 6,000 from the tops of the Sydney Opera House, among others.
The state of New South Wales on Wednesday reported a staggering 11,201 new coronavirus infections, almost doubling its previous record, as the local government struggled to control soaring numbers believed to be driven by the Omicron variant of the virus.
Before the pandemic, up to a million people would normally descend on the harbour to watch the fireworks.
Last year the show was confined to the Harbour Bridge and only those whose home, roof or hotel room had views over the harbour were able to see the fireworks live, with all outside viewpoints closed.