The Gold Coast is preparing for more a subdued New Year’s Eve this year than normal with COVID and wet weather putting a slight dampener on celebrations.
The city’s bars, clubs and restaurants are still preparing for a bumper night, but the traditional major fireworks display in Surfers Paradise, which would normally attract 90,000 spectators has been cancelled.
Smaller celebrations are happening in a number of suburbs across the Gold Coast, but if you haven’t already secured tickets you’ll have to settle for watching those fireworks from afar.
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Ticket allocations for events in Labrador, Paradise Point, Molendinar and Robina Town Centre have been exhausted.
Fireworks are still going ahead in Coolangatta with displays at 9pm and midnight.
Tickets are not required for that event, but guests will still need to check-in under COVID-safe plans.
Police are warning they will still be out in force keeping an eye on celebrations across the city.
Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler says they still expect plenty of people to be out and about tonight despite the lack of public events this year.
“We’ve got another layer of operation to address that across the coast. Of course, there’ll be festivities and celebrations, it’s been a really tough year for everyone, and we do understand that, but we want people to
do it in a COVID-safe manner,” Chief Superintendent Wheeler told the ABC.
Household gatherings are limited to 50 people while outdoor gatherings can have a maximum of 100 people.
Queensland Ambulance Senior Operations Supervisor Grace Elliott is urging everyone to celebrate responsibly.
“Please maintain some vigilance around your intoxication levels and also those of your friends and family. If you are going to celebrate, please make a plan about how you will get home this evening, don’t drink and drive and if you are drinking, please stay out of the water, whether that is the pool or the beach,” Ms Elliott said.
The state’s top doctor is also urging people to refrain from too much kissing and hugging tonight.
“We all like to on New Year’s Eve give the closest person a kiss or a cuddle. I would suggest you limit that to your known close friends and family,” Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said.
“Don’t randomly kiss and cuddle strangers that might be there at New Year’s eve, make sure you know who you’re interacting with so again, if we need to, that we can contact people who have had any close contact.”
Isolated showers have been falling across the Gold Coast so far today.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting they will continue on and off throughout the day and into this evening.
Temperatures are expected to be around 22 degrees when the clock strikes midnight.