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HCM City, Hanoi to hold New Year countdown events without spectators

Ho Chi Minh City will organise a countdown programme to welcome the New Year 2022 without guests or spectators due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the municipal Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The programme will take place from 10pm on December 31 to 0:10am on January 1 on Nguyen Hue pedestrian street only, and be broadcast live.

This is the first time the southern largest hub will organise the countdown event without audiences to ensure pandemic prevention and control.

Like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi will also not hold any outdoor activities on the New Year’s Eve, including countdown events and firework displays amidst a spike in COVID-19 cases

According to the municipal Department of Culture and Sports, the capital city will instead hold virtual events and pre-record cultural performance programmes to welcome 2022, which will be broadcast on the New Year's Eve.

The city also encourages businesses and organisations to put up decorations and lightings on the front of buildings, hotels and malls.

The downtown district of Hoan Kiem, where major cultural events usually take place and is a place for many people's gatherings also announced that celebration events in the area were to be halted while in-door dining is suspended.

Hanoi has been recording the highest number of new infections nationwide for the past two weeks, reporting over 1,000 new cases on a daily basis.

Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh also signed a new directive on the Lunar New Year’s activities, which requires localities to hold celebrations in accordance with COVID-19 prevention and control measures./.