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New York City scales back iconic New Year’s Eve party at Times Square and requires masks to be worn as Omicron infections spike

A view of the 2022 New Year's Eve Numeral upon arrival in the Times Square of New York City, United States on December 20, 2021. The seven-foot-tall numerals will sit high above Times Square and light up at midnight on New Year's Eve.
A view of the 2022 New Year’s Eve Numeral upon arrival in the Times Square of New York City, United States on December 20, 2021. The seven-foot-tall numerals will sit high above Times Square and light up at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

  • New York City’s Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration will be scaled down this year.
  • The party will be limited to 15,000 people in viewing areas — down from 58,000 pre-pandemic.
  • Partygoers will need to be masked.

New York City will scale back its New Year’s Eve party at Times Square this year as COVID-19 infections spike, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday.

This year’s celebration will be limited to 15,000 people in viewing areas — down from 58,000 pre-pandemic. According to the city’s website, visitors will also not be allowed to enter until 3 p.m., much later than in the past. 

Partygoers must be fully vaccinated and must also wear masks at all times.

“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,” de Blasio said.

New York is currently in the grip of a new wave of COVID-19 infections. On Wednesday, the state’s Department of Health reported 38,835 new positive cases. Of those, 22,808 cases were in New York City, according to the office of Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the omicron variant of the coronavirus to account for over 90% of cases in the metro area, which includes New York and New Jersey.

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

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