Photos of the world welcoming 2022, as omicron weighs on celebrations

From Sydney to Shanghai and Paris to New York, the world ushered in 2022 with New Year celebrations that were largely overshadowed by pandemic concerns — even as uncertainty looms and the omicron variant continues to drive up infections globally.

Australia and New Zealand were among the first to ring in the new year, followed by countries in Asia, Europe and North America.

Under the cloud of Covid-19, the world ushers in New Year’s Day.

Sydney, Australia

Fireworks are seen over the Sydney harbor during New Year celebrations on Jan. 1, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. New Year’s Eve celebrations continue to be somewhat different as some Covid-19 restrictions remain in place due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Wendell Teodoro | Getty Images

Spectacular fireworks exploded over the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge as Australia welcomed 2022. Queues were already forming at many vantage points since early morning on Dec. 31, according to Reuters. Local media reported that the country’s most populous state New South Wales recorded 22,577 new Covid cases and four deaths, as the number of patients in intensive care increased.

Auckland, New Zealand

The Waka Hourua sails underneath a light show from the Skytower and Harbour Bridge during Auckland New Year’s Eve celebrations on Jan. 1, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. The light show named “Auckland Is Calling” replaces the normal fireworks due to government Covid-19 restrictions.

Dave Rowland | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images for Auckland Unlimited

New York, United States

Revelers celebrate New Year’s Eve in Times Square on Dec. 31, 2021 in New York City. Despite a surge in Covid-19 cases New Year’s Eve happened as planed but with only 15,000 vaccinated participants allowed, who were also required to be masked at all times.

Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Preparation for the New Year’s Eve Ball by installation of panels with new Waterford crystals named Gift of Wisdom on top of One Times Square. Side by side panels with 2021 crystals on the left (not replaced yet) and new 2022 crystals on the right.

Lev Radin | Pacific Press | LightRocket via Getty Images

Shanghai, China

People hold balloons to form the number “2022” at Xintiandi shopping on New Year’s Eve on Dec. 31, 2021 in Shanghai, China as the world prepared to welcome the new year.

VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

Pyongyang, North Korea

People gather to watch a firework display to celebrate the new year on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on Jan. 1, 2022.

Kim Won Jin | AFP | Getty Images

Paris, France

A couple kisses on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris early on Jan. 1, 2022 as crowds gather to ring in the new year.

Martin Bureau | AFP | Getty Images

Madrid, Spain

Fireworks light up the sky as part of New Year celebrations at the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Spain on Dec. 31, 2021.

Juan Carlos Rojas Rodriguez | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Krakow, Poland

People celebrate New Year at Krakus Mound in Krakow, Poland on Jan. 1, 2022.

Beata Zawrzel | NurPhoto | Getty Images