New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that most New York venues can begin lifting some capacity restrictions from May 19th.
The new rules will allow large-scale event venues to operate at 30 percent capacity, an increase on the previous limit of 10 percent. Large-scale outdoor event venues, meanwhile, will be able to increase their capacity to 33 percent.
The change in policy will also permit New York venues to pass the limit of 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors (which will otherwise be in place), provided attendees can show a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination, and social distancing is still respected.
Other rule changes will see the current midnight food and drink service curfew lifted on May 17th for outdoor dining areas, and on the 19th for indoor dining areas.
37 percent of the New York City's population have now been fully vaccinated, while nearly 50 percent have received their first dose. Infection rates in the city have been declining for the past month.
Cuomo’s announcement follows on from New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, saying he expects the city to be “fully reopening” by July 1st. Cuomo, who has the ultimate say in restrictions and has repeatedly clashed with de Blasio, has called the prediction “irresponsible” however.
Earlier this year, New York launched a vaccine passport app in order to 'fast-track' the reopening of venues.