New 12 months’s Eve celebration in Occasions Sq. scaled again amid rising COVID circumstances

New York Metropolis’s well-known New 12 months’s Eve celebration in Occasions Sq. will implement extra security measures this yr as COVID-19 circumstances rise statewide, Mayor Invoice de Blasio introduced Thursday.

“There’s a lot to rejoice and these extra security measures will hold the totally vaccinated crowd secure and wholesome as we ring within the New 12 months,” de Blasio mentioned in a press release. 

This yr’s celebration will host 15,000 folks as an alternative of its traditional crowd of 58,000. Guests ages 5 and older are required to be totally vaccinated and put on face masks. Those that are unable to get vaccinated as a consequence of a incapacity can be required to current proof of a destructive COVID-19 PCR take a look at taken inside 72 hours of the occasion. And unvaccinated minors are required to be accompanied by a totally vaccinated grownup.

Guests is not going to be allowed into Occasions Sq. till 3:00 p.m. native time, which is way later than earlier years, in accordance with the mayor’s workplace. 

APTOPIX Virus Outbreak New York New Years
Confetti flies after the Occasions Sq. New 12 months’s Eve Ball drops in a virtually empty Occasions Sq., early Friday, January 1, 2021, as the world usually full of revelers remained closed off because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Craig Ruttle / AP

“New York is the most effective place on the planet to rejoice New 12 months’s Eve and now it is going to be one of many most secure in opposition to COVID as effectively,” Mayor-elect Eric Adams mentioned in a press release. “The Mayor has made the fitting transfer to take precautionary measures as we study to reside with COVID and combat the Omicron variant—and New Yorkers and guests alike can now take pleasure in Occasions Sq. and the remainder of our metropolis as we ring in 2022.”

The up to date plans come as New York sees document numbers of recent COVID-19 circumstances all through the state. In accordance with the New York Division of Well being, the state reported an 8.6% optimistic take a look at charge over the previous seven days, and greater than 28,900 optimistic assessments on Tuesday alone. 

A number of Broadway reveals briefly shut down this month within the wake of rising circumstances. And Radio Metropolis canceled its remaining “Christmas Spectacular” reveals final week.

The spike in circumstances comes as well being officers worldwide categorical concern concerning the fast-spreading Omicron virus variant, which has turn into the dominant pressure of COVID-19 within the nation. 

However regardless of the unfold, each de Blasio and New York Governor Kathy Hochul have tried to keep away from shutdowns by making extra testing out there and urging residents to get totally vaccinated.

“We should always keep away from lockdowns,” de Blasio mentioned in a briefing Monday. “We should always keep away from shutdowns. We should always keep away from restrictions. I’ve mentioned this now for weeks and weeks. We will keep away from all these issues by getting extra folks vaccinated.”

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