New Year celebration open to fully vaccinated revelers, De Blasio says


The traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square were put on hold in 2020, with only select guests allowed to watch from socially distant pens. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that fully vaccinated persons will be allowed to attend in 2021. (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (PIX11) — New Year’s Eve in Times Square will be much livelier than last year when revelers are welcomed back to ring in 2022. That’s according to an announcement from Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday.

“Let’s do it the right way, let’s do it the safe way,” the mayor said. “We want to welcome all those hundreds of thousands of folks, but everyone needs to be vaccinated.”

The celebration will be back “in full strength,” open to those who are fully vaccinated against COVID and present a valid photo ID, the mayor said. Those who are unable to get vaccinated due to a medical disability must be masked and provide a negative COVID test within 72 hours. Those under the age of five must be with a fully vaccinated adult.

The announcement comes after New Year’s Eve festivities at Times Square were closed to the general public last year due to the pandemic. Mayor de Blasio teased on Monday that there would be a “large, wonderful” celebration in Times Square this year.

“We want to have a great New Year’s Eve celebration,” the mayor said. “This city has been through so much, but this has been a heroic city fighting through COVID.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s New Year’s Eve festivities were “virtually enhanced,” with just a small number of people on the streets of Times Square: Doctors, nurses, teachers, grocery store employees, and transit workers were among those invited to enjoy the celebration in socially distanced pens.

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