Visitors At New York’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Limited To 5 Minutes, Must Enter Pods

(DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)

Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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Those planning on admiring Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree in-person this year will have to follow a series of coronavirus-related rules, including cutting their visit short and viewing from inside a pod, numerous sources reported.

Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and developer Tishman Speyer, which owns the property, have reportedly set a five-minute viewing limit at Rockefeller Center. Guests are told to prepare to wait in line to enter viewing pods.

NEW YORK, NY – NOV. 14: People watch the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree on Nov. 14, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

The viewing pods are six feet apart in accordance with coronavirus social distancing guidelines, and can fit four people per pod, a Tishman Speyer spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal. (RELATED: Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Headed To Manhattan After Being Cut In Upstate New York)

Those who choose to not wait in a long line may reportedly sign up for a virtual queue, which will alert them when their turn is approaching.

Spectators can begin visiting Rockefeller Center beginning Thursday through early January, when the tree will be lighted between 6 a.m. and midnight each day. The lighting ceremony, however, will be televised and not open to the public. The event can be watched Wednesday on NBC at 7:00 p.m. There will also be a number of performances, including by Dolly Parton and Kelly Clarkson.

“That’s the best way to see it, to feel that moment,” de Blasio said, according to the Journal.

The 75-foot, 11-ton Norway spruce tree was cut down in Oneonta, located in upstate New York, the Journal reported. The tree was wrapped with roughly 35,000 LED lights and topped with a star made of Swarovski crystals.

A number of other holiday traditions have been altered or canceled due to the pandemic. 

Macy’s won’t be hosting Santa Claus this year, disrupting a nearly 160-year tradition. Due to the crowds the event attracts to the store’s Santaland packed with toys, Christmas trees and elves, the company will instead offer a free online experience on its website to “safely bring the magic of Santa Claus to children of all ages this year.”