It might not be the way most New Yorkers prefer to ring in the new year, but there's something about witnessing the ball drop in Times Square every December 31 that feels like a right of passage—one that looked different last year given pandemic-related restrictions. This year, the tradition will be back in full-force.
During a news conference today, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that fully vaccinated people will be able to celebrate in Times Square at the strike of midnight.
"We want to welcome all those hundreds of thousands of folks, but everyone needs to be vaccinated," said the Mayor. "Join the crowd, join the joy, join a historic moment as New York City provides further evidence to the world that we are 100 percent back."
According to an official statement, attendees that are five years of age or older will have to present proof of vaccination to hang out in the area. Unvaccinated minors under the age of five, on the other hand, must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult to enter the event and they will have to don face coverings throughout their stay. People that are unable to get vaccinated because of a disability will have to present proof of a negative PCR test taken at least 72 hours prior to the event and also wear a mask for the duration of the festivities.
If you don't qualify or are still too wary to attend such a large gathering, worry not. The happening—which will include celebrity interviews, live musical performances and behind-the-scenes revelations—will be streamed live on TimesSquareNYC.org.
And if celebrating the end of 2021 doesn't strike your fancy, consider this fun little tidbit of information: December 31 will also be de Blasio's last day in office, as our newly elected mayor Eric Adams will be inaugurated on January 1, 2022. That is, indeed, a very good reason to go out and celebrate... right?