None of us really know what New Year’s Eve will look like in Sydney this year. Will we be allowed to gather around the harbour to watch the fireworks? Or will it be like last year, with five visitors in our house watching the display on the TV? No one seems sure yet. One thing is for certain, though: the 9pm family-friendly fireworks at Sydney Harbour won’t be happening at all.

“The fireworks always generate very large crowds and the two separate displays result in the crossover of large numbers of people leaving for one show and arriving for the next,” the City of Sydney, which organises the display, said in a statement.

It’s the second year in a row the 9pm fireworks have been cancelled. They were canned last year, to prevent large crowds from mixing and gathering on the foreshore and on public transport. The NSW Government temporarily took over the city’s NYE celebrations from the City of Sydney last year, to deal with the significant health, transport and crowd-management issues stemming from the pandemic. Frontline workers were set to be allowed to watch the midnight display from the foreshore, but those plans were shelved due to the Avalon Covid-19 outbreak.

Further details surrounding whether anyone will be allowed to watch the midnight fireworks in person this year haven’t yet been released. They’ll be tailored to the public health orders at the time.

“We are advised that it is likely the Delta virus will still be circulating in the community to some extent come the end of the year, so our plans will allow the event to remain resilient in the face of the changing health situation and public health orders,” the statement continued.