With COVID cases surging in hotspot New York City, plans for the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square will be scaled back, sources said.
When 2022 is ushered in at the ‘crossroads of the world,’ there will likely be a reduced capacity and masks will be worn by all, sources with knowledge of the plans tell FOX 5 reporter Robert Moses.
The official announcement of the changes had not been made by the city. Changes could also be made to adapt to the surge in coronavirus rocking the city.
Requirements to attend the worldwide spectacle already included proof of vaccination. Those who cannot be vaccinated due to a disability must show proof of a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours. Those under 5 years old must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult.
On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said a decision would be made before Christmas on whether to cancel the celebration altogether.
The ball dropped into nearly deserted streets last year due to the pandemic.
“This New Year’s Eve, this year, Times Square, everyone come on down, we’re celebrating,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this month. “Join the crowd. Join the joy. Join the historic moment.”
New Year’s Eve 2022
The Times Square Alliance is in charge of the event. It traditionally does a confetti test a few days before New Year’s Eve and does a ball drop test before the big day, as well.
The organizers of the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square called the 2020 event “virtually enhanced” with just a few dignitaries at the event.
“We expect a large, wonderful celebration. We’re going to have some clear smart rules to keep everyone safe,” de Blasio said.
More details regarding the festivities will be available at TSQ.org.