Everyone seems eager to put 2020 behind them, but we'll have to settle for doing it from home in a safe, responsible fashion (more on that below) due to the pandemic. Times Square is essentially off-limits this year.

I can probably still watch from the street, right?

No one will be allowed near One Times Square, where the New Year's Eve ball descends to ring in the new year, or near the performance stages. The NYPD is barricading the streets.

"My message to those ringing in the new year: please stay at home," NYPD Chief of the Department Terrence Monahan said on Wednesday, New Year's Eve Eve. "There are absolutely no spectators allowed in Times Square. There are no public fireworks in Coney Island. And there is no midnight run in Central Park."

So, please keep "Greet the New Year in Times Square" on your bucket list for at least another year, and watch the action either on the webcast, on television (are you more "Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve With Ryan Seacrest, Billy Porter, And Lucy Hale" or " CNN’s New Year’s Eve Hosted By Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen"?), or on the New Year's Eve app.

Chief Monahan emphasized the virtual element and made sure that people don't get the wrong idea about those who are part of the planned festivities.

"This year everyone will have to watch the Times Square ball drop virtually. And you're gonna see stages along with talent and staff at the Crossroads of the World. But the spectators you do see will be cast members and part of the production and have been pre-screened for the virus," Monahan said.

What streets will be closed and when?

Starting at 3 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st, the NYPD will begin shutting down streets around Times Square with barricades to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Those streets include West 45th Street, West 49th Street, 6th Avenue, and 8th Avenue.

What if I want to drive through Times Square on Wednesday, December 30th?

That's not a great idea—there's a lot of set up and the police say there will be congestion in the area.

How can I get anywhere?

Take public transportation.

The NYPD also says, "On-street parking will be extremely limited in the Midtown area." So leave your cars at home, which should be easy, because you should be staying home!

You're serious about New Year's at home?

Yes! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends, "The safest way to celebrate the new year is to celebrate at home with the people who live with you or virtually with friends and family."

As always, if you find yourself around people outside your household/pod, the CDC says:

  • Wear a mask.
  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) apart.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Get a flu shot as soon as possible.

But, really, the CDC would like you to celebrate virtually and watch a livestream at home.