Times Square reopening for New Year's Eve celebration

New York Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioWatershed moment in NYC: New law allows noncitizens to vote Hochul calls for permanent legal to-go cocktails in NY Andy Cohen blasts de Blasio during Times Square NYE MORE (D) announced Tuesday that the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration would be returning next month after being greatly scaled down last year during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We want to welcome all those hundreds of thousands of folks, but everyone needs to be vaccinated,” de Blasio said during the news conference, as reported by The New York Times

“Join the crowd, join the joy, join a historic moment as New York City provides further evidence to the world that we are 100 percent back," he added.

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The Times reports that would-be attendees who cannot be vaccinated due to disability will need to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event and will need to be masked, as will children under the age of 5, who are ineligible for vaccinations at this time. Children will also need to be accompanied by a vaccinated adult, said Tom Harris, who is the president of the Times Square Alliance, according to the Times. 

The celebration was limited last year due to the pandemic, with most onlookers prohibited from the usually filled blocks and only a select few first responders and medical workers allowed to be spectators from socially distant, blocked-in pens, reports ABC 7.

“When you’re outdoors with a few hundred thousand people packed close together for hours on end, it’s a different reality,” de Blasio said when asked why vaccination was required despite the event being outdoors. “You’re talking about a lot of people really close for long periods of time. It makes sense to protect everyone.”