NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Vaccinated crowds can return to Times Square for New Year’s Eve in a “full strength” celebration after last year’s bash was closed to the public because of COVID-19, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.
The mayor said hundreds of thousands of people can be in attendance to watch the ball drop.
“We want it to be big. We want it to be full of life. We want it to be a great New York celebration,” de Blasio said at his daily briefing. “Guess what, everyone? A big, full-strength celebration, it’s coming back this New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Everyone, come on down. We’re celebrating.”
Spectators must show proof of full vaccination and a valid photo ID, officials said. Everyone who is 5 years and older and eligible for a vaccine is subject to the requirement. Unvaccinated kids under 5 must be with a vaccinated adult.
If someone is unable to get vaccinated because of a disability, they will be required to show proof of a negative PCR test from within 72 hours. They must also wear a mask.
Tom Harris, president of the Times Square Alliance, said crowds are already returning to the Crossroads of the World, with pedestrian traffic up more than 50% in the past few months.
“Our success is largely due to people being vaccinated and feeling confident that they can safely return to our new normal,” Harris said. “This year, we’re working with our medical experts and the Office of Citywide Events to create the safest environment we can, so that more people can enjoy the magic of being in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.”
Harris said more information will be released in the coming days and weeks and that updates will be posted to TSQ.org.