NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday announced a "ticketing plan" to control crowds coming to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
“Theres going to be a lot of specific rules in place to make it safer," de Blasio said.
According to the mayor, the city will use a "timed, socially distanced approach.”
Public viewing will begin Dec. 3. with five-minute tree viewing limit for up to four people at a time.
Wait times will be available online.
"Lets stay safe this year to return to these traditions next year," de Blasio added.
Guidelines and protocols include:
- The Tree will be lit from 6 a.m. to midnight every day.
- Virtual queuing will be activated to manage lines.
- Guests can scan a QR code to see wait time and receive an SMS to return to the line.
- Masks mandated at all times.
- Six feet social distancing will be enforced.
-Guests will be directed to delineated pods, spaced six feet apart, with no more than four people in one pod.
-Groups of more than four people will be separated into two pods.Center Plaza, where the tree is physically located, will be closed to the public.
-Entrance to tree viewing and social distancing will be managed by Tishman Speyer security.
The tree viewing entrances and zones will be located at 49th and 50th Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues which will be closed to vehicular traffic.
The Rink at Rockefeller Center will be accessible on 49th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues.
The Channel Gardens will not open for tree viewing but be open for retail customers and tenants only which can be accessed from 49th and 50th Streets.
Members of the NYPD and other agencies will be patrolling the area and the city will work as it has in previous years to make sure there’s ample space, including closing off some lanes of traffic, de Blasio said Sunday.
“But, again, remember, we want to make really clear to people not to come out in large numbers and to be really smart about distancing,” he said. “So, we're going to adjust those plans to achieve that goal.”
De Blasio said he expected people to honor officials’ warnings that crowds are not safe during the pandemic, as they did during the scaled-back Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade last week.
“If you get a ticket, great, go see it,” de Blasio said of the tree. “But I'm going to say it again, it's just not like holidays we've gone through before. Let's get through 2020, let's turn the page. In 2021, we can all get back there to celebrate the tree the right way. But this year is ‘less is more.’”