After revealing on Monday that New York will be set to host its annual, in-person New Year’s Eve spectacular after a years gap, Mayor Bill de Blasio further laid down some ground rules in his Tuesday address.
With the celebrations back in “full-strength”, proof of vaccination and a valid photo ID will be required for those over 5 years old to attend the celebration, according to Tom Harris of the Times Square Alliance. Kids ages 3-5 accompanying inoculated adults do not need to be tested for the virus, but will be mandated to wear a mask; ages 2 and under do not need a mask; and those who cannot receive a vaccine due to medical reasons are required to provide a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the event.
According to latest data, in New York City, 74.6% of all residents have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine — including 87.5% percent of adults. Eighty percent of adults in the five boroughs are fully inoculated against the virus.
Talking about the mandate to be fully vaccinated for the outdoor event, Dr. Dave Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner said during a news conference, “For this particular event the fact that we’ll have such a large crowd and people will be in close quarters — anyone who spent New Year’s Eve in Times Square knows that it’s very difficult to maintain distance. So the rationale for being fully vaccinated in that setting is to markedly reduce the risk of transmission, which we know can occur outdoors even though the risk is lower. But because the risk is greater with larger numbers of people in close proximity, this is the right decision.”