There was a lot of optimism around at the beginning of 2020, before the global coronavirus pandemic brought normal life around the world to a halt.
As the virus spread and lockdowns were imposed, everything from weddings to music festivals was cancelled or postponed.
2021 will, surely, be better than last year, so what can we look forward to?
Politics and public life
A new US president
Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States on 20 January, bringing an end to Donald Trump’s tumultuous four years in the White House.
While Mr Trump certainly has his supporters, his departure from the Oval Office will be a welcome change for people who prefer a more conventional, less Twitter-ranty, form of leadership.
Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn the election result have failed and his administration has grudgingly begun transition arrangements with Mr Biden’s team ahead of inauguration.
The year 2021 will allow Mr Trump to spend more time where he spent much of the presidency – on the golf course.
The Queen will celebrate her 95th birthday on 21 April, while Prince Philip will turn 100 less than two months later.
The Queen’s 94th birthday was not marked with the traditional gun salutes after Her Majesty decided they would be “inappropriate” during the pandemic.
It is unclear if the gun salutes will return in 2021.
Trooping The Colour, which takes place on the Queen’s “official” birthday on the second Saturday in June, may also return after it was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The return of music festivals
Thermo scanners and interactive vibrating wristbands are reported to be among the technology being considered to help get the 2021 festival season under way.
The pandemic more or less wiped out live music in 2020 and led to nearly all of the major European festivals being cancelled.
The UK festivals confirmed for 2021 include Download, the Isle of Wight and Reading and Leeds.
However, Glastonbury has not yet confirmed whether it will be returning in 2021.
The UK’s efforts to win the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in more than 10 years were put on hold in 2020 after the event was cancelled due to the pandemic.
However, the continent’s most outrageous singing competition will be making a comeback in 2021.
The event will take place in the Dutch city of Rotterdam – where it had been due to be held in 2020.
The hit US sitcom Friends is set to return with filming having been due to start in August 2020.
Matthew Perry, who played Chandler Bing in the show, has since said filming has been rescheduled to March next year because of the pandemic.
It remains unclear when the one-off special will be aired.
The next James Bond should finally be released
Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007 has faced numerous delays along the way – and the news it would not hit screens in 2020 was a massive blow to the struggling cinema industry.
A message on the official James Bond Twitter feed said it was be delayed until April 2021 “in order to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience”.
It had originally been due out in April this year before being delayed until November 2020.
Next year will also see a Ghostbusters sequel hit cinema screens 36 years after the original.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife was originally due for release in July 2020 but will now be released in March 2021.
Sonic the Hedgehog’s 30th anniversary
Everyone’s favourite quick-footed blue hedgehog is reportedly making a return in 2021, with the expected release of new games to mark Sonic’s 30th anniversary.
Tails’ Channel, a Sonic fansite, has said SEGA has promised a “year of celebration” including “new games” to mark the anniversary.
PS5 and Xbox gamers can also look forward to the arrival of Hitman 3 in January 2021.
Final Fantasy XVI is also due to come out on the PS5 later in the year.
Day to day life
The vaccine roll-out, hailed by health leaders as a “huge turning point” in the fight against coronavirus, will continue into 2021.
More than 137,000 people were given the first of two jabs of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in the first week of the roll-out in 2020.
Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, has said he expects four different vaccines to be available by the middle of 2021.
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The likely easing of restrictions
The vaccine breakthrough sparked hopes life could return to something resembling normal in the months ahead.
Senior sources told Sky News that restrictions are likely until Easter even if large numbers of people are vaccinated from January.
This means life could begin returning to normal from April.
The pandemic has put many people’s love life on hold – with restrictions limiting the number of opportunities they have for meeting others.
Dating has been difficult as singles have only been able to socialise with people they live with or those in their support bubble.
However, the vaccine roll-out and subsequent easing of restrictions could mean people are able to start organising dates in 2021.
The pandemic decimated British nightlife in 2020 – with pubs and nightclubs closed to slow the spread of the virus.
Some pubs were able to open with social distancing measures in place, only to have to close again when cases began to rise.
The vaccine roll-out has led to hopes the great British night-out could be set to make a comeback.
Christmas with family
Boris Johnson told the British public a “smaller Christmas is going to be a safer Christmas” as urged people not exceed the festive bubble limit of three households in 2020.
He told the public: “So have yourselves a merry little Christmas and, I’m afraid, this year I do mean little.”
However, he added that with the vaccine roll-out and other measures Christmas should be back to normal for every family in the country next year.
Major sporting events
The Tokyo Olympics
The Olympic games was postponed for the first time in its history in 2020 after it was due to take place in Tokyo.
Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister at the time, said holding the Games in 2021 would be “proof of a victory by human beings against coronavirus infections”.
The Tokyo Olympics will now be celebrated from 23 July to 8 August 2021, with the Paralympic Games being celebrated from 24 August to 5 September 2021.
One of the biggest boxing matches in history
Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua could be set to step into the ring for what is likely to be billed as the biggest fight in British boxing history.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has said he has held “positive” negotiations with Fury’s US promoter Bob Arum.
The two camps are attempting to finalise a two-fight deal, with the rematch set to take place in November or December.
The Euro 2020 international football tournament was put back a year due to the coronavirus.
England, Scotland and Wales have all qualified for the 24-team competition scheduled for June and July.
The Scots and English have been drawn together in Group D along with Croatia and the Czech Republic.
There are 12 host cities in all, with the semi-finals and final to be played at Wembley.
Source : Sky News