Counterterrorism police stand guard near the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City in 2017 (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File JOHN MOORE)

Source: Kyle Olson

New York City held the official tree lighting at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday but attempted to block tourists from watching it.

Video published by FNTV showed several people trying to watch the ceremony, only to have their view hampered by police buses and plastic sheeting duct taped to them:

One man attempted to film the tradition over the black plastic while another appeared to film it through the windows of the NYPD bus.

Someone reportedly ripped down the plastic sheet and several people could be seen cramming together to film between the vehicles:

Another video by documentary photographer Yuki Iwamura showed the large crowd that the city attempted to exclude from the festivities:

The ceremony was held without spectators, CBS 2 reported.

“With the flip of a switch, all 50,000 LED lights on this year’s tree were turned on. The lights were turned off a short time later, but not to worry, for the tree will be lit again by Thursday morning,” the news station said.

Viewers will have to adhere to social distancing rules if they attempt to catch a glimpse of the 75-foot Norway spruce.

“Visitors will have to stand in six-foot-spaced pods to view the tree once it opens back up to the public Thursday, and there is a five-minute limit once you arrive,” according to CBS 2.

NBC 4 reported Rockefeller Plaza is closed and the city has created “specific tree-viewing zones on the midtown Manhattan blocks on either side.”

“Why can’t we group by the tree?” Floridian Jennifer Goetz told the New York Post.

“We were looking forward to seeing the tree light up and watching all the performers,” she said. “We always watched on TV and now we can’t even get remotely close to the tree.”

“It will be limited, the number of people that can get close. This is what we got to do to protect everyone,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.