NYC to Permit Revelers to Watch Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve

NYC to Permit Revelers to Watch Ball Drop on New Year's Eve times square packed with revelers on new year's eve before the covid-19 pandemic (Nick Potts/AP)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Tuesday, 16 November 2021 01:34 PM

The annual New Year's Eve celebration in New York City's Times Square is back on — provided revelers have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or test negative.

"We are proud to announce the wonderful celebration in Times Square, the ball drop, everything, is coming back full strength," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday. "It's going to be amazing."

The New York Post said those 5 and older who are planning to welcome in the New Year in Times Square will have to show proof of vaccination, and a valid photo ID. All others will have to wear a mask and show the results of a negative COVID-19 test.

"Our goal is to have a safe event for our cast, our crew and for the crowds," said Tom Harris of the Times Square Alliance.

"We will require spectators 5 and older who are eligible to be fully vaccinated. If you are unable to get vaccinated because of a disability, we will require proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours," Harris said, according to CBS New York. "Those under 5 must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult, and anyone unable to get vaccinated must wear a mask if able to do so."

People planning to attend must have their second dose (or single Johnson & Johnson dose) by Dec. 17 in order to be considered fully vaccinated, the Gothamist website reported. Those who are not able to be vaccinated due to a medical disability may attend if they can show a negative COVID PCR test within 72 hours of New Year's Eve. They must also provide proof of their medical disability.

Last year, as the pandemic raged, only essential workers and specials guests were permitted to see the ball drop in person.