Wed, 08 Dec 2021

NEW YORK CITY, New York: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has confirmed that crowds of revelers will be allowed to attend this year's New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was closed to spectators last year.

However, in order to see the famed ball drop at midnight, which signifies the start of the New Year, people over the age of five will have to show proof of being fully vaccinated or a negative COVID-19 test, as well as a photo ID.

"We can finally get back together again. It is going to be amazing, it is going to be a joy for this city," de Blasio said, adding he has been working with the Department of Health and New York Police Department "to get this right."

Tom Harris, head of the Times Square Alliance, said children under five-years-old will have to be accompanied by a vaccinated adult, and unvaccinated people must wear masks.

Last year, celebrations in Times Square were muted after the Centers for Disease Control urged people to avoid gatherings, with only a few health workers allowed into the square and placed in socially distanced pods.

The U.S. has recorded the world's highest number of COVID-19 cases, with 2.1 million being recorded since the pandemic began, along with more than 765,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

New Year's Eve celebrations have been held in Times Square since 1904.

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