River St. preparing for a different New Year’s Eve than years past

River St. preparing for a different New Year’s Eve than years past

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - New Year’s Eve downtown will of course look much different this year compared to last year.

One new thing this year though is that the city will be out making sure masks are worn as people bring in the new year.

Well the city will be out in public areas of downtown approaching people in groups if they don’t have masks and ask them to put one on.

The city says they’ve had a 98 percent compliance from people they’ve approached asking them to put on a mask.

The city’s mask mandate is still in place.

In fact, the City’s COVID-19 Resource Team will be out in the downtown area tonight enforcing that mandate.

The Director of the Office of Special Events, Film and Tourism, Susan Broker, says they want to make sure guidelines put in place by the Governor and Mayor Johnson are being followed.

They’ll be focusing on groups of people in lines for example not wearing masks.

“If You see a couple walking down the street for example that don’t have a mask on and it’s clear that they live together, we don’t necessarily approach them but we’re focusing on those groups of people who were standing close together waiting in line that kind of thing,” Broker said.

Many Savannahians took to River Street to celebrate the end of the year and bring in 2021. They say they were surprised to see the famous street still pretty busy this year.

“I guess that I thought with the spike in COVID that as many people wouldn’t be out and that it be kind of easy to find parking and get a spot at a restaurant but it turns out parking is horrible,” said Candace McNeal.

They also say they didn’t see many people wearing a mask either.

“I see a lot of people that are not wearing masks. I just looked at a couple of them. I don’t love it,” said Caroline Martin.

However after this year, partygoers say they’re hoping 2021 will not only be a better year, but also bring some normalcy and peace.

“I’m looking forward to all this coronavirus to get settled down and we can all be back to normal rather than being so stressed out about things and hopefully just hopefully we can all come together rather than being separated,” said Tate Tugh.

With the end of the year quickly approaching, people are looking forward to putting it behind them and have a message for 2020.

“I will say good riddance,” said Barrien Hudson.

“Yeah that sounds good to me,” said Justin Harmonay.

“Pack your bags. It’s time to go. You’ve overstayed your welcome,” said Candace McNeal.

“Get out of here,” said Jason Scott.

Mask enforcement will continue through the weekend and even city department heads will be out to help with enforcement.

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