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2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
Photograph: Courtesy Rockefeller Center/Diane Bondareff

You must follow these rules to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree this year

Mayor Bill de Blasio asked people to stay home rather than going to see the tree in person.

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Written by
Shaye Weaver
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Mayor Bill de Blasio advised New Yorkers to skip seeing the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting in person this year and watch it on TV instead.

"I'm gonna tell ya—watch a different way," he said on Monday morning. "Please, if you can make a decision to watch it on TV, that's so much better."

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The tree lighting is set for Wednesday, December 2, at 8pm and will be broadcast live on NBC. If one does go to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree, there will be a whole new set of rules to follow, according to Tishman Speyer, the developer that owns Rockefeller Center:

Firstly, the tree lighting will be closed to the public.

If you go at a later time, you can access it only by waiting in a virtual line, between 6am and midnight. Guests will have to scan a QR code to see their wait time and receive a text message to return to the entrance, which will be at 49th and 50th Streets at Fifth and Sixth Avenues only. Only groups of four or fewer will only have five minutes to see the tree and then will be escorted out of the area.

Of course, social distancing and masks will be required while on the premises. 

The area will be closed to the public, except for The Channel Gardens (gardens located between 49th and 50th Streets just west of Fifth Avenue) will be open for retail customers and tenants only shops and restaurants in the concourse can be accessed from 49th and 50th streets and Rockefeller Center tenants will have regular access to their spaces with tenant IDs.

If you want to see the tree, the mayor and Tishman Speyer urge New Yorkers to view it at rockefellercenter.com from 8 a.m. to midnight every day.

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