NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Times Square is typically home to tens of thousands of people on New Years Eve, but this year there are no people crowded streets full of spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic

As reported by CBS2’s John Dias, Thursday’s weather was a perfect fit for 2020 – a gloomy day to end an even gloomier year, most of the people he spoke to said 2021 cannot come soon enough

“Hopefully it will be a better year. We can eradicate this virus and get on with our lives,” added Tommy Casale of Dyker Heights

COUNTDOWN UNTIL 2021: Organizers test New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square; NYPD ready regardless of the crowds

For nearly 120 years, Times Square has been the focus of global attention on New Year’s Eve, but this year it’s closed to the public to stop the spread of COVID-19

“I grew up in Hell’s Kitchen. That’s surreal,” said resident Jacqueline Vera. “I think that’s the safe and smart thing New Yorkers, let’s just calm down for a year”

The NYPD had about 80% fewer officers guarding the area than in previous years, but security was still strict

“When you get to Times Square, the police will turn you away and tell you to go home and watch from the safety and comfort of your home,” Tom Harris, vice president of the Times Square Alliance, told CBS2

Before the officials introduced strict rules, the passers-by took last minute photos to document the day

“It’s part of the story, I think I mean, New Years Eve, hopefully you never see Times Square like that again,” said Paul McKeon of Hamilton, New Jersey

Only selected VIP guests and around 40 local frontline workers and their families were allowed in. Each group observed the festivities from different viewing areas

“I’m really happy to be one of the few chosen to be allowed to throw out the door in 2020,” said EMT Paul Nebb

“Don’t believe any” dubious Thomasen “who say that there won’t be a million people or more in Times Square, it won’t be anything special. It will probably be special,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday ” We’ll honor our healthcare heroes, first responders, and people who did a great job this year ”

Musicians like Gloria Gaynor and Andra Day lit the stage on Thursday evening, even though half of the faces in the audience were on balloons

COUNTDOWN UNTIL 2021: Long Island singer joins legendary performer “I’ll Survive” Gloria Gaynor to play New Year’s Eve in Times Square

An ambulance, a school teacher, a grocery store employee, and a pizza delivery boy were among those invited to watch in person

“This is like a dream come true for us and we can’t wait to see the ball fall,” said Carol Porter, piano teacher in New Jersey, to Ali Bauman of CBS2. “We only know if we only Get through to 2020, if we just get through 2021 will be a much better year for us ”

“It was a fight New Yorkers were tough and we’re proud to be New Yorkers now,” he said

He and his wife moved from Kansas to New York

at the height of the pandemic in March

“Even my parents said,” Don’t work in the emergency room, if you don’t have to, you will be exposed “I said,” Mom, that’s why I went to medical school. I want to help people. This is the most important time in my entire life Career to become an emergency doctor, ”said Davlantes

MORE: De Blasio says parents in New York should be ready for distance learning by Monday

Speaking to CBS2 for the first time in November, Hathaway was dismayed at how he can stay in business through the end of the year, now he’s ringing Times Square in 2021 and he’s still in business

“It’s an honor, but at the same time, it’s another day to be present with what you have and appreciate where you are in life, and we fully realize every day that we are very much are happy to get that through, ”he said

This #NewYearsEve will be different than in the past due to COVID-19 Please be aware of these road closures that will be in the days before the ball is dropped and know that there will be no pedestrians or spectators in Times Square this year allowed are BildTwittercom / Pbom4vA5uf

Find out how this single mom 6Could Earn $ 000 / month for working at her home for a few hours a day and how you can do it yourself ……… visit here

New Years Countdown, Countdown To New Years, New Years Countdown, New Years Eve 2020

World News – GB – New Years Countdown: Times Square Almost Empty Except For Select Frontline Store Workers And VIP Guests