US rings in New Year amid specter of Covid as NY's Times Square is closed for first time EVER and parties go virtual

THE United States is ringing in the New Year amid the specter of Covid as New York's Times Square is closed for first time EVER and parties have gone virtual.

As the US has seen at least 19.7 million confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic earlier this year and approximately 342,414 deaths, many Americans are looking forward to 2021.

As a "Super-Covid" strain, which originated in the United Kingdom is making its way across the US, many have chosen to celebrate New Years Eve from the comfort of their homes.

New York City's Times Square was an unusual sight to see as it was closed to the public leading up to the annual ball drop.

Live performances took place throughout the night to celebrate New Year's Eve 2021.

Performances for ABC's "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" were done by Jennifer Lopez, Billy Porter, Cyndi Lauper, Jimmie Allen, and Machine Gun Kelly.

NYC's Mayor Bill de Blasio pushed the Waterford crystal button to prompt the New Year’s Eve Ball drop.

Before the official start to 2021 hit the US, Austria was one of the first countries to ring in the New Year.

Fireworks lit up the sky above Sydney Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House as usual, except, without the one million people watching the pyrotechnic display in person.

Meanwhile, the Dubai's spectacular Burj Khalifa skyscraper in the United Arab Emirates had a mesmerizing lights and lasers display, which many viewers watching online.

However, thousands of people were seen in the streets of Dubai as fireworks went off above the world tallest tower.

People were seen to be disregarding social distancing rules as they celebrated in bars and restaurants in the downtown Dubai – but dancing was not allowed.

In South Africa, people were urged to celebrate the new year with candles instead of fireworks – as a thank you to all the health workers and in memory of all who died this past year.

Nightly curfews were implemented across some European countries like Italy, France, and Greece.

Italy was a very different scene compared to Dubai, as national curfew was set in place from 10pm until 7am on January 1.

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