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New York to welcome back crowds to Times Square on New Year’s Eve

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Unvaccinated banned from some German Christmas markets:
File photo Times Square on New Year's Eve.
File photo Times Square on New Year's Eve.

US, GERMANY: – New York City will allow crowds into Times Square on New Year’s Eve to ring in 2022, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday, after the pandemic muted last year’s celebrations.

Hundreds of thousands of revelers will be able to attend the traditional ball drop at midnight providing they can prove they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, de Blasio told reporters.

Attendees who are unable to get vaccinated because of medical reasons will have to show that they received a negative test within 72 hours of the event.

“We want it to be big, we want it to be full of life, we want to be a great New York celebration,” de Blasio said.

Times Square was largely empty on New Year’s Eve last year, with only essential workers and invited guests able to watch the ball drop from socially distanced areas.

Meanwhile, for the first time in two years, Germans were allowed to visit the Christmas markets on Wednesday, but millions will have to sit this one out due to a number of cities demanding proof of vaccination if people want to enjoy the festivities to the full.

With Germany recording its highest ever daily caseload on Wednesday, the markets, suspended last year due to the pandemic, must now comply with strict safety rules that vary from state to state, with some not accepting a negative COVID test for entrance.

Germany has one of the lowest vaccination rates in western Europe, with just 67% of the population fully vaccinated, and is currently reporting record caseloads as Europe’s largest economy battles a fourth wave of infections.


Thursday, November 18, 2021 – 01:00

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