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New Year’s Eve celebration will return to Times Square with vaccinated crowd

Virus Outbreak-New Year's Eve
Posted at 11:10 AM, Nov 16, 2021

NEW YORK, N.Y. — The iconic New Year’s Eve celebration will return to Times Square this year, but all attendees will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that New York City is going to host the event this year, which culminates with the ball drop at midnight on Jan. 1.

“Yes, we are proud to announce that Times Square, (the) wonderful celebration in Times Square, the ball drop, everything (is) coming back full strength, the way we love it, hundreds of thousands of people there to celebrate,” said de Blasio. “We can finally get back together again. It’s going to be amazing. It’s going to be a joy for this city.”

The mayor added that the city wants to “do it the right way” and “the safe way,” so it’s been working with the department of health and the NYPD to get it right.

“So, here’s how we’re going to do it. We want to welcome all those hundreds of thousands of folks, but everyone needs to be vaccinated. All you have to do is have that proof of vaccination and valid photo ID, and you are in,” said de Blasio. “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.”

Those who are unable to get vaccinated against the coronavirus due to a medical reason will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours and remain masked at the event, officials said.

Last New Year’s Eve, the celebration in Times Square was closed to the general public to the threat of COVID-19. The ball did drop in New York City last year in front of a small group of people, but the many revelers that normally pack the area were not present.

Virus Outbreak New York New Years
Confetti flies after the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball drops in a nearly empty Times Square, early Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, as the area normally packed with revelers remained closed off due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)