New York scaling back New Year’s celebrations

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s (D) office announced it has scaled back New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square amid the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the city. 

In a statement on Thursday, the city said this year’s celebration will be scaled back to 15,000 attendees and visitors won’t be allowed entry until 3 p.m.

The new requirements will also implement a mask mandate for everyone, and attendees must show photo identification at the fully outdoor event. 

The city’s government also announced that attendees over 5 years old must show proof of vaccination to enter and those who are younger than 5 years and unvaccinated must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult to attend, the office said. 

“New Yorkers have stepped up tremendously over the past year—we are leading the way on vaccinations, we have reopened safely, and every day we work toward building a recovery for all of us,” de Blasio said in a statement. “There is a lot to celebrate and these additional safety measures will keep the fully vaccinated crowd safe and healthy as we ring in the New Year.”

Earlier this week, de Blasio said he was weighing his options to impose more safety measures during the annual city celebration. 

This comes as the city is dealing with another COVID-19 outbreak, as the new omicron variant has taken hold across the nation. 

In a statement, New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams (D) applauded his predecessor’s move to impose more safety measures for the NYE celebration. 

“New York is the best place in the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve and now it will be one of the safest against COVID as well,”  Adams said. 

“The Mayor has made the right move to take precautionary measures as we learn to live with COVID and fight the Omicron variant—and New Yorkers and visitors alike can now enjoy Times Square and the rest of our city as we ring in 2022,” Adams concluded.

Tags Bill de Blasio covid-19 restrictions New Years Eve New York New York City Omicron variant Vaccine
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