New Year’s hopes dim for Harbour businesses as COVID worries take hold
Concerns around the spread of COVID-19 have prompted thousands to cancel their New Year’s Eve plans.
Businesses around the Harbour say they were ready to ring in 2022 one of the biggest nights for trade in years but are struggling to keep bookings.
Captain Cook Cruises General Manager Nick Lester told Joe Hildebrand before the pandemic, the business would have around 30 vessels running on New Year’s Eve.
This year, there will be just two.
“We’re getting quite a lot of cancellations and transferring dates and a lot of consumer confidence has been severely affected by it,” he said.
“I think the feeling up until this point as been ‘just hang on, we’re just on the cusp of this’.
“Now that Omicron is starting to take hold, it will be very interesting how the next three months pan out for a lot of businesses.”
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Members of the entertainment industry are lamenting Sydney residents are practically choosing to lock themselves down.
Opera Australia CEO Fiona Allan told John Stanley it’s a challenging time for the company to earn revenue.
“We earn most of our income ourselves,” she said.
“Government funding’s under 20 per cent of our turnover so ticket sales and donations, really, is where we make our money.”
It comes as the company is set to perform La Bohème on New Year’s Eve under some health restrictions.
“It’s not distanced and it’s not required to be distanced at the moment.
“The audience needs to be double vaccinated to come into the auditorium, or to purchase a ticket, and also wear masks all the way through.”
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