De Blasio hints NYC's New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square returning to in-person

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio hinted Monday that the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square will return to an in-person event, after large crowds were prohibited from gathering at the last ball drop due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio attends the opening of a vaccination center for Broadway workers in Times Square on April 12, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images) 
(Noam Galai/Getty Images)

“We want to have a great New Year’s Eve celebration in this city,” de Blasio said during his daily press briefing. “This city has been through so much, but this has been a heroic city fighting through COVID.”

“We’re turning the corner,” he continued. “We’ve got a lot to celebrate, so it’s going to be a big moment in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.”

Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray dance onstage in Times Square during 2021 New Year’s Eve celebrations on December 31, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Hershorn-Pool/Getty Images)
(Gary Hershorn-Pool/Getty Images)

He added, “We expect a large, wonderful celebration. We’re going to have some clear, smart rules to keep everyone safe. Expect a great moment in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.”

De Blasio said that more details on the Times Square celebration will be revealed on Tuesday, and he signaled that restrictions would be set for the event. Sources told WLNY-TV to expect that revelers will be required to show proof of either being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or to present a negative coronavirus test.

Confetti are flying in the air on a mostly empty Times Square for New Years Eve in New York City on January 1, 2021. – Due to the Coronavirus outbreak Times Square is closed to all but a few revelers. (Photo by COREY SIPKIN / AFP) (Photo by COREY SIPKIN/AFP via Getty Images)
(COREY SIPKIN/AFP via Getty Images)

The previous New Year’s Eve celebration in the Big Apple included live performances but the artists performed to a nearly empty Times Square, and folks were encouraged to watch the televised event virtually. The area around where the ball drops was closed off from live spectators.

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