COVID-19 numbers may be surging, but New York City plans to forge ahead with a scaled-back New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square on Friday. 

What do I need to attend NYE in Times Square? 

After banning visitors from the 2020 event, this year’s attendees will have to show proof of vaccination, wear a mask, provide a photo ID and are not allowed entry until 3pm. There will be a 15,000-person cap on the event – well short of the 58,000 people who typically attend. No advance registration is required to attend the festivities. 

NYC Mayor says shutdowns are not the answer 

“Look, I don't believe in shutdowns. We have to fight our way through COVID and the way to do it is vaccination. We have the strongest vaccine mandates in the country and now 91 percent of all New York City adults have had at least one dose of the vaccine. So, shutdowns are not the answer. The answer is, get people vaccinated,” New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio said on NBC’s Today Show on Thursday.

“This event is vaccination-only. It's going to be outdoors, vaccination only, masks required, socially distanced. But we want to show that we're moving forward and we want to show the world that New York City is fighting our way through this. It's really important to not give up in the face of this.”  

Get more travel inspiration, tips and exclusive offers sent straight to your inbox with our weekly newsletter.

NYC COVID-19 numbers hit new high

New York City’s COVID-19 numbers hit an all-time high with nearly 67,000 new positive cases reported on Wednesday.

Chair of the City Council Health Committee – Mark Levine – has led the charge to cancel the New Year’s Eve event outright like cities such as Berlin, London, Paris, Rome, New Delhi, Atlanta, San Francisco and Athens.   

Canceled Broadway shows, closed restaurants: NYC grapples with spike in COVID cases  

Rapper LL Cool J in a silver jogging suit performs in front of a band.
LL Cool J pulled out of this New Year's Rocking Eve performace after testing positive for COVID-19 © Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

LL Cool J cancels NYE performance after positive test 

Rapper and headliner LL Cool J announced he will miss the NYC ball drop celebration after testing positive for COVID-19 this week. 

“I know it’s disappointing to the millions of fans but my test came back positive for COVID, which means I’ll no longer be able to perform as scheduled at NYRE,” LL Cool J said in a statement, according to Billboard. “We were ready and I was looking forward to ringing in 2022 in my hometown in a special way, but for now I wish everyone a healthy and happy New Year. The best is yet to come!” 

England carries on with New Year celebrations as rest of UK tighten restrictions 

What cities are still hosting New Year's Eve events 

Other cities keeping their New Year’s Eve events include Las Vegas, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, Bangkok and Chicago

“I’m thrilled that we are able to welcome back our New Year’s Eve fireworks and hope to continue this tradition into the future,” Lightfoot said in a statement, according to NBC Chicago. “Importantly, the display can be viewed outdoors where the spread of COVID-19 is less likely, so our residents and visitors should feel comfortable while masking up and social distancing or even watching safely from home. I look forward to welcoming a happy new year.”

You might also like:  
New York City Ballet’s The Nutcracker returns for live performances
NYC in winter: Broadway, ice skating and more top reasons to visit this season
Top tips for getting around New York City at any time of year   

Explore related stories

Woman drinks water from fountain on the main square in Vatican. Concept of visiting the Vatican
1390980484

Activities

10 top things to do in Rome in 2024

Feb 29, 2024 • 13 min read