Tourism takes a hit as omicron unleashes COVID wave in New York City

NEW YORK – Christmas is usually the season that boosts New York tourism, but it turns out that omicron is spreading to some of the more popular places.

The city’s latest COVID data shows Manhattan’s highest positivity rate is in the West Village and the Meatpacking District, where the seven-day average is over 16%.

Positivity rates are also high in trendy neighborhoods like Chelsea, Villages, SoHo, and popular Brooklyn neighborhoods including Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

The COVID surge is another big blow to tourism, with the city’s Hospitality Alliance calling for more financial assistance and a resurrection of take-out drinking rules.

New Years Eve in Times Square was also reduced from 58,000 people to 15,000.

Party-goers also cannot come to the area until 3 p.m. that day, and everyone must be masked and fully vaccinated.

Additionally, the Phish group have announced that they are rescheduling their four-night New Years run at Madison Square Garden, questioning what will happen to Billy Joel’s monthly MSG residency.

Other Broadway shows are also closing the curtain. “Waitress” and “Thoughts of a Colored Man” end early while other musicals have canceled shows until Christmas including “Hamilton”, “Aladdin” and “The Lion King”.

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About Jonathan J. Kramer

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