Photos of the world greeting 2022 when the omicron weighs in at celebrations

From Sydney to Shanghai, and from Paris to New York, the world has marked the beginning of 2022 with New Years that have been largely overshadowed by fears of a pandemic – even as uncertainty looms and the omicron variant continues to spread infections around the world.

Australia and New Zealand were among the first to celebrate the new year, followed by countries in Asia, Europe and North America.

Under the Covid-19 cloud, the world is celebrating the New Year.

Sydney, Australia

Spectacular fireworks exploded over the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge as Australia welcomed 2022. According to Reuters, from the early morning of December 31, queues were already lining up at many convenient sites. Local media reported that the country’s most populous state, New South Wales, has recorded 22,577 new cases of Covid and four deaths as the number of patients in intensive care units has increased.

Auckland, New Zealand

Waka Hourua floats under a light show from the Skytower and Harbor Bridge during Auckland New Years celebrations on January 1, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. A light show called “Oakland Calls” is replacing conventional fireworks due to government Covid-19 restrictions.

Dave Rowland | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images for Auckland Unlimited

In New Zealand, restrictions on public gatherings in Auckland have been eased December 30 at 23:59 local time, on New Year’s Eve. The traditional fireworks display was canceled due to fears of revelers gathering. Instead, there was a light show over the Auckland Harbor Bridge, Sky Tower and Auckland War Memorial Museum from 9pm to midnight local time.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of Covid-19 cases worldwide exceeds 287 million, and the number of deaths exceeds 5.4 million worldwide. Just two days earlier, the World Health Organization had warned of a “tsunami of cases” as the omicron and delta circulate at the same time.

New York, USA

Revelers celebrate New Years Eve in Times Square on December 31, 2021 in New York City. Despite the spike in Covid-19 cases, New Years Eve went as planned, but only 15,000 vaccinated participants were admitted and also required to wear masks at all times.

Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Prepare for the New Year’s Eve Ball by installing a new Waterford crystal mural titled Gift of Wisdom atop One Times Square. Adjacent panels with 2021 crystals on the left (not yet replaced) and new 2022 crystals on the right.

Lev Radin | Pacific Press | LightRocket via Getty Images

Covid cases in the city and across the country may have hit record levels, but New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said NBC Thursday: “We want to show that we are moving forward and we want to show the world that New York is trying to get over it.”

Shanghai, China

People hold balloons in the shape of the number “2022” at Xintiandi Shopping on New Year’s Eve December 31, 2021 in Shanghai, China as the world prepares to welcome the new year.

VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

From Nanjing to Wuhan, Chinese cities have canceled New Years celebrations to stop the spread of infections. according to South China Morning Post

China continues to fight Covid-19 with its zero-tolerance policy and ended 2021 with the highest weekly number of Covid cases since containing the initial epidemic about two years ago. according to Reuters

The total number of local symptomatic cases on the mainland last week reached 1,151 after 175 new cases were reported in symptomatic communities on December 31, the news agency reported, citing statistics from the National Health Commission.

Pyongyang, North Korea

People gather to watch New Year’s fireworks at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on January 1, 2022.

Kim Won Jin | AFP | Getty Images

Paris, France

A couple kissing on the Champs Elysees in Paris in the early morning of January 1, 2022, as crowds gather to celebrate the New Year.

Martin Bureau | AFP | Getty Images

Madrid, Spain

Fireworks illuminate the sky during New Years celebrations at Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Spain on December 31, 2021.

Juan Carlos Rojas Rodriguez | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Krakow, Poland

People celebrate the New Year at the Krakow Mound in Krakow, Poland on January 1, 2022.

Beata Zavrzel | NurPhoto | Getty Images

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