Dec 16, 2020 - Health

Times Square New Year's Eve event will have no public audience

Confetti fills the air over top of revelers during New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square on January 1, 2020 in New York City.
New Year's Eve celebrations in New York City's Times Square on Jan. 1 this year. Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

This year's Times Square New Year's Eve celebrations in New York City will take place without a public audience in attendance as a precaution against the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's the first time the event hasn't permitted people to gather in the square. The Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment said in a statement that the celebrations would still be broadcast on TV and online.

Of note: The world-famous ball drop will go ahead and Gloria Gaynor will perform her 1970s disco hit "I will survive."

What to expect: This event will recognize the "heroes of 2020" —  people at the frontlines of the pandemic, including first responders, essential workers and their families, some of whom will attend as special guests.

  • "All participants will remain masked at all times except when preforming and will adhere to distancing regulations throughout the production site," the statement notes.

Flashback: In photos: Cities around the world ring in the start of 2020

Go deeper