While 2020 has been filled with changes, one thing will remain the same: People will still be able to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree this holiday season, albeit with new safety guidelines in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The tree will be lit Wednesday in a live ceremony that will be closed to the public on Wednesday night during a nationally televised special on NBC hosted by TODAY's Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker.
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Starting Thursday, new rules approved by New York State and New York City will go into effect for how people can visit the tree in person through early January. The tree, which will feature 50,000 multi-colored LED lights and be topped off by a Swarovski crystal star, will be lit each day from 6 a.m. to midnight.
Entrances to see the tree will be set up at 49th and 50th Streets at 5th and 6th Avenues.
In order to avoid in-person lines, there will be virtual queues that enable people to scan a QR code for wait times and get a message when to return to line. Visitors must also wear a mask at all times and observe social distancing guidelines by remaining 6 feet apart.
“Guests will be directed to delineated pods, spaced six feet apart, with no more than four people in one pod,” reads a press release. “Groups of more than four people will be separated into two pods.”
Visitors can spend up to five minutes looking at the tree, which will be situated in Center Plaza, an area that will be closed to the public.
An owl dubbed Rocky was found inside it after making the trip to the Big Apple, but has since been released back into the wild after being treated for dehydration and hunger.