Tourism takes a hit as omicron sparks NYC COVID surge


NEW YORK — Christmastime is typically the season that drives tourism in New York City, but it turns out that omicron is spreading in some of the most popular spots.

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

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

The COVID surge is another gut punch to tourism, with the city’s Hospitality Alliance calling for more financial assistance and a resurrection of alcohol-to-go rules.

New Year’s Eve in Times Square has also been scaled back from 58,000 people to 15,000.

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

Additionally, the band Phish said it is rescheduling its four-night New Year’s run at Madison Square Garden, calling into question what will happen to Billy Joel’s monthly MSG residency.

More Broadway shows are also closing the curtain. Both “Waitress” and “Thoughts of a Colored Man” are ending early while other musicals canceled shows through Christmas, including “Hamilton,” “Aladdin,” and “The Lion King.”

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