How Indians will welcome New Year 2023: 8 in 10 surveyed likely to ring in the New Year at home with immediate family
- ● 4% plan to attend a big gathering or party while 5% plan to visit a restaurant with family or friends
- ● 12% plan to visit a friend’s place to celebrate
- ● 5% plan to avoid socialising in light of the increased COVID risk
December 30, 2022, New Delhi: Amidst the extremely difficult COVID situation in China, the risk of new COVID variants and reports of cases of COVID being detected among foreign arrivals from several countries, India has stepped up vigilance. With New Year celebrations planned, state health departments and district administrations have either issued New Year celebration guidelines or are in the process of doing so.
For instance, the Karnataka government in an advisory for New Year eve celebrations has advised that all large assemblies should be strictly outdoor, and as far as possible during the day to avoid late night and early mornings. For people over 60 years, those with comorbidities, pregnant and lactating women, the government has advised them to stay away from such assemblies. For hotels, pubs, restaurants, clubs, resorts, etc., where the celebrations are being organized, the Government has restricted the number of guests to the existing seating capacity if held indoors. All celebration venues have been directed to have multiple entry points to avoid any crowding. The managerial and service staff of the venue are required to have got two doses of vaccination and desired to have got the booster dose. Indoor event managers have been directed to ensure compulsory face masking and social distancing throughout the occasion. In fact, the managers have been directed to prominently display signage of “No mask no entry”, check temperature of guests, direct anyone showing COVID symptoms for medical consultations and ensure use of hand sanitizers. In case of large events, the planners/ managers have been told to have linkages with the nearest specialty hospitals for ambulance services. The Karnataka government has also made masking mandatory in theatres, requiring use of N-95 face masks.
Given that for two years i.e. 2020 and 2021, the new year celebrations have largely been mute, people from across the country have been sharing their plans for new year celebrations as well as the rising COVID risk in light of the major surge in China, a reminder of late 2019 and early 2020 when COVID started spreading around the world from China. While at this point, India’s risk based on current case load is lowest it has ever been since the start of the pandemic, passengers from several high-risk countries including China are continuing to arrive in India. To understand, how extensive the socializing and celebrations are likely to be for New Year 2023, LocalCircles asked citizens across India about how they plan to ring in the new year. Over 13,000 citizens responded from 312 districts of India. 63% respondents were men while 37% respondents were women. 47% respondents were from tier 1, 31% from tier 2 and 22% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
The survey asked respondents “How do you plan to celebrate New Year 2023?”. Out of 13,031 pan India responses, 55% indicated that they plan to “stay with immediate family at home”; 19% stated that they don’t generally celebrate the New Year; 5% don't plan to celebrate New Year this year because of COVID risk and other reasons. Among those planning celebrations outside their homes 2% are planning to “go out for a community gathering with immediate family”; 3% plan to “go out to a restaurant with immediate family”; 2% plan to “go out to a big new year party with immediate family”; 2% plan to “go out to a restaurant with friends”; 2% are undecided about their plans; 12% plan to “celebrate at one of their friend’s home”. In total only 4% plan to socialize in large groups i.e. a community event or a large party to ring the New Year.
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To summarise, while 4% citizens surveyed are likely to attend big parties and community get togethers to ring in New Year 2023, a majority 79% are likely to stay home and either celebrate with immediate family or not celebrate at all. Given the COVID risk, those in big cities and celebrating must follow COVID appropriate norms of masking and social distancing regardless of whether their state or district mandates these norms or not.
The survey received over 13,000 responses from citizens located in 312 districts of India. 67% respondents were men while 33% respondents were women. 45% respondents were from tier 1, 33% from tier 2 and 22% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.