Despite the soaring Omicron cases in New York City, the traditional New Year’s Eve party in Times Square will proceed for fully vaccinated and mask-wearing Big Apple revelers.
Outgoing NYC mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement on Thursday.
To ensure safety and avoid the further spread of Omicron, de Blasio opted to cut the number of participants by nearly 75 percent.
De Blasio said only a crowd of 15,000 lower than the usual 58,000 is allowed in the celebration to ensure proper social distancing.
“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,” de Blasio said in a statement.
“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,” de Blasio added.
Meanwhile, the head of the Times Square Alliance praised the mayor’s adjustments.
“We applaud the leadership of Mayor de Blasio in finding a way to welcome revelers into Times Square on New Year’s Eve in an even safer way than we originally planned,” Tom Harris, President of the Times Square Alliance, said in a prepared statement.
“This year, revelers will be fully vaccinated, masked, and we will have reduced occupancy in the viewing areas,” Harris added.