The New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square on December 31 will require full vaccination and mask wearing, according to a press release from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
It will also be a lot smaller.
As opposed to normal years when 58,000 gather to watch the famous Ball Drop, this year’s crowd will be limited to 15,000.
Anyone over 5 years old will have to show proof of having received a full dose of a vaccination from among the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines.
Revelers will not be allowed to start gathering until 3 p.m, which is later than normal.
“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,” said de Blasio. “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.”
The event will be webcast.
The announcement comes as the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread around the world.