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New York to hold scaled-back New Year’s Eve event in Times Square

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced that New Year’s Eve celebrations will be “scaled back” in Times Square this year. The change comes as concerns mount over the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Each year, the celebration normally draws around 60,000 people, but that number will be limited to only 15,000 this year. Visitors will also be barred from entering viewing areas until around 3 in the afternoon.

According to de Blasio’s office, all those in attendance will be required to wear face coverings, and they will also have to show photo identification for entrance into the event. Even with the new measures, much of the New Year’s Eve programming will continue. ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” will be among the events. 

“New Yorkers have stepped up tremendously over the past year,” said de Blasio. “We are leading the way on vaccinations, we have reopened safely, and every day we work toward building a recovery for all of us. 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.” The Mayor-elect, Eric Adams, praised de Blasio’s call.

Fox ditched its plans for New Year’s coverage in Times Square. The network revealed on December 21 that it had planned to scrap its scheduled “New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022,” which was slated to be hosted by Ken Jeong and Joel McHale.

In a statement, the network said, “While we are confident in the health and safety protocols for Fox’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022, the recent velocity of the spread of Omicron cases has made it impossible to produce a live special in Times Square that meets our standards.” 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: FOX NEWS

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