They're kissing in Vegas but look how different 2021's New Year celebrations are to last year

The new year has been welcomed across the UK and the rest of the world with muted celebrations from a safe distance as Covid-19 lockdowns and curfews quashed large gatherings.

Here's a look at some celebrations across the world, as well as how it compares in stark contrast to this time last year.

Tokyo, Japan

People visiting to pray at Sensoji temple in Tokyo a few hours before New Year and the same location, in the picture below, filled with crowds waiting to pray on January 1 last year.

2020 vs 2019 New Year's Eve outside Sensoji temple in Tokyo. Credit: AP

Moscow, Russia

Fireworks exploding over the Kremlin and the Spasskaya Tower near St. Basil's Cathedral at an almost empty Red Square during New Year's celebrations in Moscow, Russia.

Fireworks exploding over the Kremlin in Russia for New Year's Eve celebrations in 2019 and 2020. Credit: AP

Las Vegas, USA

Revelers celebrate in downtown Las Vegas for New Year's Eve - a lot less crowds than last year's full-blown party on the same strip.

A couple kissing, top, as they celebrate New Year's Eve along the Las Vegas Strip. Credit: AP

Mumbai, India

A handful of people in front of the iconic Gateway of India, top, a popular place to celebrate New Year's Eve in Mumbai, India. Usually the same area would attract thousands for the end of year celebrations.

The iconic Gateway of India, top, a popular place to celebrate New Year's Eve in Mumbai, India. Credit: AP

Madrid, Spain

In Spain, Madrid's Puerta del Sol was almost empty before the New Year's celebrations.

Authorities are limiting gatherings to a handful of people while some are slightly relaxing the nightly curfew to allow families to gather before getting home for an early night. 

Madrid's Puerta del Sol on New Year's Eve. Credit: AP

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

This composition of two photos shows an empty Copacabana Beach during the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in contrast with last year's beach party celebrations and firework display.

Copacabana Beach NYE celebrations in 2019 (bottom) compared to 2020 during lockdown (top). Credit: AP

Rome, Italy

Colle Oppio hill overlooking Rome's Colosseum, a popular spot for New Year's Eve celebrations in Italy.

Colle Oppio hill overlooking Rome's Colosseum in Italy. Credit: AP

London, England

In London, Big Ben chimed at the start of 2021, just one hour after the same bells embraced the UK's exit from the European Union.

The steps around the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus were virtually empty as London's New Year's Eve fireworks display was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus in London on New Year's Eve. Credit: PA

Birmingham, England

Broad Street in Birmingham, which is lined with bars and pubs, was empty - apart from traffic cones and fencing surrounding the city's tram extension.

Broad Street's bars were deserted last night. Credit: SnapperSK

Belfast, Northern Ireland

The streets around Donegall Place in Belfast near Belfast City Hall are completely deserted as Northern Ireland imposed a six week lockdown from Boxing Day.

Deserted Donegall Place in Belfast with Belfast City Hall in the distance. Credit: PA