BOSTON (AP) — Boston's First Night New Year's celebrations will be outdoors only this year to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, and revelers will have a chance to get a vaccine during the event, Mayor Michelle Wu and other officials said Thursday.

First Night, which started in 1975 and has inspired similar events in cities around the nation and world, typically holds performances and cultural events at indoor locations, and several indoors events were scheduled for this year.

But everything has been moved outside for this Friday.

“As we come together to celebrate community, our joy and 2022, we must also recognize the moment that we still very much are in,” Wu said at an news conference. “We are in a winter surge driven by the omicron variant, and we need to take action to protect ourselves, our families and our communities at large.”

The mobile vaccination clinic open to anyone who is eligible for a shot or booster will be held in Copley Square from noon until 7 p.m. It will be moved inside the Boston Public Library after 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. for people ages 12 and older, officials said.

The Whittier Street Health Center will also distribute 1,000 rapid tests at the event.

Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission, recommended mask wearing and said people who don't feel well, or who have had recent exposure to someone with COVID-19, should stay home.

Officials encouraged attendees to take public transportation, and law enforcement said the event will have a heavy police presence.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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