Omicron Update NYC: Restaurants see increasing New Year's Eve cancellations as COVID cases rise

Coronavirus update for NYC
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Going out to dinner on New Year's Eve is a tradition for many, but as COVID cases are skyrocketing in NYC, restaurants are seeing a lot of cancellations for the big night.

You could hear a pin drop on West 46th Street on Wednesday, where in roughly 48 hours, the crowd will ring in the new year up the block in Times Square.

Many in the restaurant industry fear this is the appetizer to what will no doubt be an equally thin main course Friday night.

"Now sadly it's become if not the worst times, we become a really really sad time," Industry Consultant Steve Zagor said.

Right now countless eateries, bars and event spaces are facing an avalanche of cancellations.

There are customers who are sick with or have been exposed to COVID, and others who simply aren't willing to take the risk.

At Harvest Kitchen on the Upper West Side, things were bustling midday, but so far they've had 50 reservations cancel for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

"We'll just play it by ear, I think in a couple days, I haven't heard any cancellations, so this is good news," GM Igor Segota said.

At The Skylark, with its breathtaking views of Midtown and that iconic crystal ball, this month they've made a third of what they'd normally bring in.

Still the team is committed to making New Year's Eve safe and comfortable in the indoor/outdoor space by reducing capacity to 75% and encouraging guests to provide a negative COVID test.

There is a lot of the line.

"January and February for restaurants and bars in the city is very slow, when we're looking at the calendar, December is like our bread and butter, across the board, it's our bread and butter where we are able to make money that will help us float for the next two months," Skylark GM Anthony Simone said.

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Derick Waller reports from Queens where one of 13 new state-run COVID testing sites opened Wednesday.

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