The famous Times Square in New York is about to slash New Year's Eve because of the Omicron change.
The mayor of the city, Bill de Blasio, confirmed the adjustments in the event's capacity and reiterated that only those who have been vaccinated would be able to participate.
The famous New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square, New York, will be drastically reduced by the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday, as the Omicron variant fuels an "astonishing" escalation of COVID-19 cases.
Typically some 58,000 New Yorkers gather to witness the fall of the vast ball heralding the arrival of the new year. Still, next week the capacity will be reduced to 15,000 attendees, who must use a mask and prove that they have been vaccinated.
De Blasio said additional health measures would "keep fully vaccinated crowds safe and healthy as we ring the bell at the start of the new year."
Times Square was virtually empty on New Year's Eve last year. Only essential workers and guests could see hair falling from socially isolated areas.
Many cities around the world, such as Paris and London, have canceled their New Year's festivities because of the development of a new omicron variant of the corona virus.
The mayor noted that New York reported a "staggering" number of new COVID cases, nearly 11,000, across the city's five boroughs on Wednesday.
The New York City Hall asked the federal government for urgent help due to the impressive increase in COVID-19 cases.
On Sunday, the city reported a record number of new COVID-19 infections, with 5,731 cases and 160 new hospital admissions in a single day. Since the appearance of the new Omicron variant, infections have increased in five districts of the city. The first reaction to a new wave of infection is beginning to show. Over the weekend, they canceled the traditional Christmas show at Radio City Hall. The comedy show Saturday Night Live, which is permanently recorded with a live audience, was recorded only before a small group.
Faced with this situation, de Blasio said the White House must comply with the Defense of Production Act so that city residents have direct access to monoclonal therapies and Covid 19 tests that can be administered at home. In addition, he asked federal health officials to expedite the process of approving treatment with pills developed by Pfizer Laboratory.
"We need help right now. We need access to monoclonal antibody treatment. New Yorkers should get this treatment as soon as possible," de Blasio told the press.
The city has decided to invest 10 million dollars in a campaign to promote vaccination and increase the availability of hours in the testing centers. But the purchase of monoclonal antibody treatments can only be made, by law, by the federal government. That is why the municipalities and states are putting pressure on the Biden administration to receive an item of what has already been bought as soon as possible.