Scenes from last year: Police man checkpoints to prevent people from entering Times Square ahead of New Year's Eve amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City Photograph:( Reuters )
Usually, Times Square hosts nearly 58,000 people on New Year where celebrities come and perform their best talents, and people get a chance to eat, drink, dance and rung in the new year with their loved and chosen ones
New York’s Times Square is known for its extravagant-style countdown to a new year, but the coronavirus pandemic seemed to have cast off its evil eye on this celebration. Just like majority of the entertainment venues around the globe, Times Square, too, has scaled back its celebrations this year.
With the upcoming New Year celebrations, New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that that the celebrations will be drastically scaled back with fears of an incoming wave of Omicron variant of coronavirus in the city.
Usually, Times Square hosts nearly 58,000 people on New Year where celebrities come and perform their best talents, and people get a chance to eat, drink, dance and rung in the new year with their loved and chosen ones.
However, this year, only 15,000 people will be allowed to enter the premises. There is a possibility that like last year, this time too people will be placed in separate pods, where each pod will house people from the same group.
This year, it will be compulsory for attendees to wear face mask at all times and they will also have to show proof of being fully vaccinated before entering the ‘party area’. These safety measures this year "will keep the fully vaccinated crowd safe and healthy as we ring in the New Year," said de Blasio.
It is expected that this year the New Year celebrations will be better in comparison to last year when Times Square was majorly empty. Last year, it was majorly the essential workers and a few invited, ticketed guests who were placed in assigned pods with a set maximum limit. These pods were placed at a distance and in a zig-zag manner to avoid any possible spread of infection. Some onlookers, who could not get to their assigned pods, also stood at a distance near the barriers, which were placed at a far away distance from the set stage for performers and the pods, to make sure people do not crowd the area.