NEW YORK — New Year's Eve in Times Square will return with crowds this year - but attendees 5 and older must present proof that they are fully vaccinated and photo ID, Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed Tuesday.
Spectators under 5 must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult and wear a mask, city officials say.
Anyone unable to get vaccinated due to a disability must present a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the event, and must wear a mask, according to Times Square Alliance President Tom Harris.
When asked why the measures were necessary even though the event was outdoors, the mayor said they are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"When you're outdoors with a few hundred thousand people packed together for hours on end, it’s a different reality," de Blasio said in his Tuesday briefing.
The checks for valid IDs and proof of vaccination will take place at the security checkpoints where revelers enter Times Square, according to Harris.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said the NYPD is in "good shape" in preparation for the celebration.
He said the department recently handled events with big crowds like the New York City Marathon and Halloween parade during their return to the streets.
"We'll be ready. We're really looking forward to it," Shea said on "Mornings On 1."
Shea said there are no current terrorism threats against the city.
Last year, crowds were not allowed to watch the ball drop in Times Square.