The world entered 2021 on Friday under the sign of the coronavirus which forced billions of people to celebrate the New Year in the privacy of their homes. Barrier measures continue to be applied because of the new epidemic waves.
To avoid the celebrations likely to lead to a decrease in vigilance in the observation of anti-covid-19 gestures, several governments have tightened restrictive measures; not hesitating, for some to reinstate curfews, to the chagrin of the populations who hoped to bury the 2020 funeral with great fanfare and also show their joy at having survived, so far, the coronavirus. A little moment of joy that could perhaps relieve them a little from all the suffering that the pandemic will have caused them to experience in 2020.
Curfews in the two Congos
In Congo-Brazzaville, the some five million inhabitants have spent the New Year in general confinement imposed by the authorities since December 25, Christmas Day. This measure was accompanied by a curfew imposed on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, with bars and restaurants closing at 7:00 p.m. The authorities had claimed to have seen a rebound in the epidemic.
Across the Congo River, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, churches had also adapted with an early Christmas mass at 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Chad tightens restrictions
In Chad, the government has decided to tighten restrictions to deal with the dizzying rise in confirmed cases.
The government announced on Thursday the total containment of the city of N’Djamena for a period of one week renewable from 1is January 2021 from midnight.
Restrictions will be imposed from January 4 at the land and air borders. A curfew has been established in the city of N’Djamena from 6 p.m. until 5 a.m.
The government has also decided to close, from January 4, 2021, public places such as schools and universities, churches, bars, restaurants, shops and large markets, urban and intercity transport and all non-essential services. Certain services benefit from an exemption: hospitals, pharmacies, shops, firefighters, water and electricity services, hotels, banks, service and fuel stations, mobile phone companies thefts cargo ships. Public or private groups of more than 10 people are prohibited.
A minimum service is established for essential public and private services such as: banks, service and fuel stations, mobile phone companies
Nigerian Christians appalled
In Nigeria, millions of regular Christians could not meet as they do every December 31, to pray together, the whole night, for the new year.
This year, in several southern states, governments have imposed restrictions to stem the spread of the pandemic. A curfew was also imposed.
Containment in Europe
Despite the start of vaccination campaigns, Europe is not lowering its guard.
Containment of three quarters of the English
In England, three quarters of the population have been confined since Thursday, New Years Eve. AFP says the British government has extended the areas subject to the strictest restrictions introduced to counter a surge in the number of cases of the new coronavirus attributed to a variant of the virus. The start of the school year has also been postponed for some students.
American singer Patti Smith, 74, gave a livestream concert in tribute to caregivers in the UK’s public health system who died from Covid-19. But its live broadcast on a giant screen at Piccadilly Circus was canceled at the last minute due to a pandemic, and its fans had to settle for YouTube, according to AFP.
Tightening of measures in Ireland
Ireland announced on Wednesday to tighten for at least a month the partial containment introduced last week. From midnight Wednesday, the Irish “will have to stay at home, except to go to work, for education or for other essential reasons.
In France, the empty Champs-Elysées
in France, in Paris, the Champs-Elysées, which usually swarm with people on the last evening of the year and the New Year, were unusually deserted for a New Year, despite a few red garlands hanging from the decked trees. Police officers on duty checked the derogatory certificates of the drivers of the rare vehicles in circulation and fined the offenders.
France experienced a “New Year’s Eve” under curfew, exceptionally framed by 100,000 police and gendarmes, AFP noted. the government has banned all travel between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., except for professional reasons. Those who violate the curfew are liable to a heavy fine and clandestine parties may be punished. In several departments in the north and west, the sale and consumption of alcohol on the public highway was also prohibited.
Rome without fireworks or firecrackers
The Romans were unable to make it to Circus Maximus, the city’s oldest stadium to attend the end-of-year festivities. They followed them from their homes.
The authorities had planned two hours of spectacle and an illumination of the most emblematic sites of Rome, but the fireworks and the firecrackers which usually resound were prohibited. Italy is under confinement until January 7 with a curfew from 10 p.m., according to AFP.
In the United States, Times Squares in lack of spectators
In the United States, only a handful of guests, including health workers and other workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak, were allowed to meet Thursday evening in Times Square, New York. , to attend the traditional descent of the New Year’s luminous ball.
A major police device was to close access to the area around Times Square in order to avoid unauthorized gatherings, as authorities fear the event will lead to an acceleration in new coronavirus infections. Elsewhere in the United States, New Year’s festivities were also organized in a reduced format or even virtually.
In New Zealand,
In Sydney, Australia’s largest city, the famous New Year’s Eve fireworks display was fired at 13:00 GMT over the Bay, but with almost no spectators following the appearance of a recent source of contamination in the north of the city which totals some 150 cases, reports AFP.
Relaxation of measures in certain places
Elsewhere, in Lebanon, the authorities relaxed measures in Beirut. The curfew was pushed back to 3 a.m. Bars, restaurants and nightclubs have reopened and are hosting big New Year’s Eve parties, an AFP report said.
In Brazil, the second most bereaved country in the world, circulate on social networks, circulate videos of people partying without masks, and television has broadcast images of police officers closing bars crowded with customers.
In Dubai, thousands of people were expected to witness a fireworks and laser show at Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world. All people had to wear a mask or register using a QR code.