Muted Celebrations As New Year Approaches

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Restrictions are being placed on New Year festivities around the world as many countries struggle to curb new spikes in coronavirus cases.

Fireworks displays and other public gatherings have been cancelled from Sydney to New York.

Festivities are being particularly muted in Europe, amid fears over a new more contagious strain of the disease.

France has mobilised 100,000 police to break up New Year’s Eve parties and enforce a night-time curfew.

More than 1.8 million people have died with the virus across the world since the start of the pandemic a year ago. More than 81 million cases have been reported.