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Following a year without crowds, Times Square is gearing up to welcome back revelers this New Year’s Eve — but you’ll need to be fully vaccinated if you want to be there to witness the ball drop.

Crowds bring in the New Year in 2020 in Times Square before the pandemic. Photo: Gary Hershorn

There are some exceptions — children younger than 5 can attend with a fully immunized adult, and proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival will be accepted for those for whom disability precludes vaccination.

The news was announced by an upbeat Mayor Bill de Blasio. “New York City is a heroic city. We have fought through COVID, bolstered our vaccination efforts, and reopened to vaccinated international travelers,” he said. “New Year’s Eve in Times Square will be an incredible celebration of our City’s recovery, and we thank our partners at the Times Square Alliance for leading the way to ensure the safety of revelers from near and far.”

Even without crowds, last year’s NYE celebrations were still a celebrity event with Jennifer Lopez starring. Photo: Gary Hershorn

Tom Harris, President of Times Square Alliance added: “This year, we are ready and thrilled to welcome a full house of revelers back to Times Square to celebrate the New Year. Now more than ever we need to come together to revive our favorite traditions with our loved ones – reflecting on a tough year behind us while looking forward to a new year with hope.”  

In 2021, the event took place “visually, virtually, safely”, when for the first time in over 100 years the crowds were not allowed to gather at the crossroads of the world because of the pandemic.

Starting the New Year in 2020 with a street clean up. Photo: Gary Hershorn

Details of the 2022 program of entertainment for December 31 are still under wraps, but if you’d rather watch the fun from a distance, the festivities will also be broadcast for television and internet audiences, and there will be a virtual multi-media experience available.

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