NY Lifting More COVID-19 Restrictions

A Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) worker receives the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination for MTA employees at Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S. March 10, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will lift crowd-capacity restrictions on stores, restaurants and gyms starting on May 19, officials said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidance such as keeping six feet apart will remain in place, except in situations where there is proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

“This is a major reopening of economic and social activity,” the governor said.

Cuomo previously said that offices could increase to 75 percent capacity, and casinos, gyms, and fitness centers to 50 percent on May 15. Large stadiums will still only move from 25 to 33 percent capacity on May 19. Indoor arenas, such as Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, will move from 10 to 25 percent capacity on May 19.

The reopening announcement is the latest of many recently, including that New York is lifting its midnight food and beverage service curfew on May 17 for outdoor dining and May 31 for indoor dining.

The lifting of capacity restrictions comes as the number of people receiving the Covid-19 vaccine is increasing, while the Covid-19 infection rate is decreasing across the state. Long Island’s Covid-19 positivity rate is 1.79 percent, the governor said.

-With Reuters and Briana Bonfiglio

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