Should Americans cancel New Year's Eve plans? Fauci says it depends

Two days before New Year's Eve, Dr. Anthony Fauci said people looking to spend a quiet holiday at home celebrating with family are encouraged to do so, while those with more ambitious plans may want to rethink things.

During a Wednesday press briefing, Fauci was asked by NewsNation Now reporter Evan Lambert whether Americans should go ahead with their holiday plans or cancel them. Fauci said it "depends" on what those plans are.

"If you are in a situation with a family setting in your home with family – parents, children, grandparents – and everyone is vaccinated and boosted, although the risk is never zero in anything, the risk is low enough that we feel you should continue to go through with those plans," Fauci said. He reiterated that this means a "home-related" gathering where everyone present has been vaccinated for COVID-19 and received booster shots.

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"So it really depends on what your plans are," Fauci continued, explaining that while an intimate gathering where everyone is vaccinated and has gotten booster shots may be fairly safe, a typical big New Year's party is a different story.

"If your plans are to go to a 40-to-50-person New Year’s Eve party with all the bells and whistles, and everybody hugging and kissing and wishing each other a happy new year, I would strongly recommend that this year we do not do that," Fauci said.

In New York City, the iconic Times Square celebration is back open to the public after a much smaller televised program on Dec. 31, 2020, but it is still scaled down from previous years.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that the outdoor event will host roughly 15,000 people this year, down from a typical number of approximately 58,000. Additionally, revelers will not be able to enter the area until 3 p.m., which is much later than past years.

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