Times Square is reopening for New Year’s Eve celebration this year.
But anyone planning on celebrating the New Year’s Eve party will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid or provide proof of a negative test to join in on the festivities.
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On Tuesday, Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that people would be allowed back into Times Square to welcome the new year, but there would be strict Covid-19 vaccination guidelines in place.
RT reports: De Blasio said the city wants to invite “hundreds of thousands of folks,” as long as each one is inoculated against Covid-19.
“Join the crowd, join the joy, join a historic moment as New York City provides further evidence to the world that we are 100% back,” said De Blasio.
The mayor himself received scrutiny at least year’s New Year’s Eve event after dancing maskless while the city remained shut down.
The president of the Times Square Alliance, Tom Harris, has announced that all attendees must be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Those with a disability preventing them from being inoculated must provide a negative Covid-19 test, taken within the previous 72 hours. Children aged five and younger can only attend if they are accompanied by a fully-vaccinated adult.
The ball drop in Times Square draws thousands to New York City every year, with millions more watching the celebration on television. The size of the event, the mayor claimed, required much greater precaution to be taken than at other events in the city, which was under some of the strictest Covid-19 shutdowns in the country last year.
“It makes sense to protect everyone,” De Blasio said about enforcing vaccinations amidst the crowd, which typically gathers in Times Square hours before the actual ball drops to signify the new year’s arrival.
The Times Square announcement has been met with some skepticism by critics, with many pointing out the potential difficulties in enforcement, as well as the fact that those who go to the event will still likely interact with people at restaurants and bars before gathering for the celebration.
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