Some experts have pointed out that the danger may not be contained in Times Square. Attendees will also have to think about what happens before and after the ball drops, as people walk in and out of nearby bars and restaurants to eat, warm up and use the restroom. But New York City, unlike many places, requires those who eat and drink indoors to provide proof of vaccination.
Some of the major restrictions on international travelers have recently been eased by the United States, so the drop-ball is likely to attract revelers from around the world, as it gathers people from areas with lower and higher rates of spread of the virus.
Dennis Nash, professor of epidemiology at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, said that although vaccination requirements mean the risk of transmission at the event would be significantly reduced, those traveling from out of town to the city should take Attending the drop ball consider the possibility of bringing the virus back to their hometown.
“There will be people coming from places that don’t have a lot of Covid at the moment,” Mr. Nash said. “We need to think about seeding and the outbreak and spread of disease, not just in our backyards but everywhere.”
Given the safety guidelines, Mr. Nash said, attending football would not be an irrational option. But he said all attendees will have to balance individual comfort levels with the amount of risk they may pose to others, and advised revelers to wear a mask at all times.
Other major cities around the world have canceled their New Year’s Eve celebrations. In October, the mayor of London said the city’s year-end fireworks display would be scrapped and replaced with a different type of festivity, while this week Amsterdam canceled its festivities in response to a spike in coronavirus cases.
Munich has also canceled the famous Christmas market. “The tragic situation in our hospitals and the dramatically increasing numbers of infections leave me no other choice,” Mayor Dieter Reiter told reporters on Tuesday.
But Dr Jha said he thinks it makes sense for New York City to move forward.
We have to get back to doing really meaningful things,” said Dr. Jha. “New Year’s Eve in Times Square is kind of a famous American celebration, and I think we’re in the pandemic phase where we can do that safely.”
Lola Fadulo And Christopher F Schwitz Contribute to the preparation of reports.