Spectator ban for Sydney New Year fireworks

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Because of the pandemic danger, authorities have prevented revellers from gathering at Sydney’s downtown waterfront to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks in the region.

New South Wales State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Monday that up to 10 guests can be welcomed to their homes by people living in the city center to celebrate. To enter the city, guests must apply for a permit.

Five new cases of Covid-19 linked to a cluster in the northern beach region were confirmed by Australia’s largest city, taking the total number of infections since Dec. 10 to 126.

Currently, about a million people converge on the harbor shore to watch the annual show of fireworks, based on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Monday that, as his government struggles to slow the ongoing spread, he aims to enact legislation to make coronavirus interventions legally binding on companies, prosecute violators and provide for economic compensation.

In April and May, Japan was under a state of emergency with non-binding orders to stay home and close stores, but because of the economic effects, people have come to terms with the pandemic and shop owners have become less cooperative.

Mr. Suga said that experts are debating legislation to implement the coronavirus more efficiently and aims to apply the draft law to parliament next year for approval as soon as possible.

The first cases of the more infectious Covid-19 variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom, were confirmed by South Korea.

On Monday, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said the cases were discovered in a family of three who arrived in South Korea on Dec. 22.

In order to defend against the new variant of the virus, they flew one day before South Korea suspended air travel from Britain until Dec. 31.

The three persons who are in Britain are in South Korea under quarantine.

On Monday, South Korea reported 808 new cases of coronavirus, taking the national case count to 57,680 with 819 deaths.

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