New Zealand rings in 2022 with spectacular light show in Auckland

31 December 2021, 11:34 | Updated: 31 December 2021, 11:39

A light show from the Skytower and harbour bridge during Auckland New Year's Eve celebration
A light show from the Skytower and harbour bridge during Auckland New Year's Eve celebration. Picture: Getty

By Asher McShane

New Zealand has become the first nation to celebrate the arrival of 2022, with a spectacular light display in Auckland.

Crowds were allowed to gather in the city for the first time since August, after coronavirus restrictions were relaxed.

People around the world are getting ready to say goodbye to 2021, which has been plagued by Covid lockdowns.

Restrictions in New Zealand were eased in time for revellers to see in the New Year.

Auckland's fireworks display was cancelled this year as a Covid safety precaution
Auckland's fireworks display was cancelled this year as a Covid safety precaution. Picture: Getty

Partygoers have been allowed to dance and gather in bars as long as they show their vaccine passport.

The traditional Skytower firework display in Auckland was cancelled as a Covid-19 safety measure this year to prevent large crowds from gathering.

Back on home soil, Boris Johnson is urging people to take a lateral flow test before heading out for New Year's Eve tonight.

England is the only part of the UK where clubs will be open.

The Prime Minister has issued a warning to Brits to "be cautious" on New Year's Eve but says the UK is in an "incomparably better" position than this time last year.

Mr Johnson will use his New Year's message to announce the country has met its target to offer all adults the chance to get a booster vaccine by the end of the year.

Seven in 10 eligible adults in England have now received their booster jabs, with an extra eight million vaccines delivered since the target was bought forward on December 12.

He warned those celebrating New Year's Eve still need to be cautious.

"Whatever the challenges that fate continues to throw in our way and whatever the anxieties we may have about the weeks and months ahead, particularly about Omicron and the growing numbers in hospitals, we can say one thing with certainty, our position this December 31 is incomparably better than last year," he said.

The PM is also set to reference the UK's economic growth, and say the response to the call to get vaccinated allowed the country to "maintain the most open economy and society of any major European economy".

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