Happy New Year! Muted celebrations as people around the world welcome 2022 amid COVID-19 pandemic

Amid a rise in Omicron-fuelled coronavirus (COVID-19) cases globally, people around the world said goodbye to 2021 and welcomed 2022, with the hope that it will be better.

In several places, celebrations were either cancelled or scaled down. 

See some pictures here:

Auckland, New Zealand

People in New Zealand were amongst the first in the world to celebrate the arrival of 2022 with a light show in Auckland on Saturday (January 1).

The show featured 90,000 LED lights illuminating over Auckland's 328-metre tall Sky Tower and Harbour Bridge.

Revellers watched on as brightly coloured and laser lighting shot into the night sky.

This year, the official New Year firework display above the harbour was cancelled due to concerns over the Omicron variant.

(Photograph:ANI)

Sydney, Australia

New Year's Eve fireworks erupted over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House during the fireworks show. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Singapore

A light projection is seen on the ArtScience Museum dome at Marina Bay Sands to usher the New Year 2022, in Singapore on December 31, 2021. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Shandong, China

People watch a lantern display ahead of the new year 2022 in Yantai in China's eastern Shandong province on December 31, 2021.

(Photograph:AFP)

Seoul, South Korea

Beam lights are projected from the 123-storey Lotte World Tower skyscraper during a countdown lighting show to celebrate the New Year in Seoul. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Hong Kong

Fireworks explode over skyline building as people in Hong Kong celebrated New Year. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Bangkok, Thailand

New Year’s Eve fireworks erupted over the Chao Praya River in Bangkok.

(Photograph:AFP)

Paris, France

In this picture, the Eiffel Tower lit up in blue to mark the French presidency of the European Union during the New Year's Eve in Paris. 

(Photograph:AFP)

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