NY to Ease Capacity Restrictions on Broadway Beginning May 19

Some businesses are welcome to opt to keep capacity restrictions, but from the state level, those restrictions will be nearly entirely repealed, Cuomo said.

As of Sunday, 34.9% of NY state residents are fully vaccinated and 46.5% have received at least one vaccine dose.

The governor had a press conference on Monday to talk about New York's strategy to vaccinate younger people and those who are otherwise hesitant because they believe they will be fine even if they catch Covid. However, New York will still require businesses to enforce six feet of distance between patrons, which may not allow some venues to reach full capacity.

Indoor catered events can increase the gathering limit to 250, with proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test result it can be increased to 500 on May 19. The outdoor residential gathering limit has been removed and the indoor residential gathering limit increases to 50 on May 19.

Last week it was announced the bar and restaurant curfew would be lifted May 17 for outdoor dining and May 31 for indoor dining.

"This is a major reopening to economic and social activity", Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday morning as he announced the changes.

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These limits now vary between 33 and 75 percent capacity. Large-scale outdoor event venues will operate at 33 percent.

City subway service will return to 24-hour operation on May 17 after being closed for cleaning during overnight hours since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic previous year, the Democratic governor said. It follows updated guidance released by the CDC last week, which said people do not need to wear masks outdoors where social distancing is possible.

Starting that date, houses of worship, bars and restaurants, museums, retail stores, gyms and fitness centers, amusement parks and family entertainment centers, hair salons, spas, barber shops, offices and more will no longer be subject to any limits on the number of people they can welcome inside, Cuomo said.

Indoor face coverings will remain the norm for the time being.

He estimated that "vaccine-hesitant" residents make up about 20% of New York's population.

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