(Reuters) – As Asia says goodbye to 2020 – a tumultuous year that saw the planet roiled by a deadly pandemic – celebrations will be smaller, shorter and more muted amid fears of coronavirus flare-ups.
In Beijing, the capital of the world’s most-populous country, an annual New Year light show at the China Central Television Tower scheduled for Thursday through Sunday has been called off.
The Beijing Yonghe Lama Temple, a tourist site, has also cut the number of visitors allowed by half since Thursday. Many Chinese tourists are staying home or taking shorter domestic trips.
The coronavirus emerged a year ago in the central Chinese city of Wuhan and has since spread globally, infecting more than 82 million people and killing more than 1.7 million.
Australia, whose fireworks over the Sydney Opera House are a visual staple of the season, has in many places restricted movement, gatherings and even internal borders. Most people are banned from coming to Sydney’s downtown on Thursday night.