BY THE VILLAGE SUN | On Monday, city residents will be able to pull up a stool at indoor bars once again, while revelers at catered events will no longer be required to stay in their table’s “fixed dance zone.”
Two weeks after that, on May 17, the midnight curfew for food and beverages for outdoor dining areas will be lifted, with the indoor dining curfew to be nixed at the end of May. Curfews for catered events will be lifted next month, as well.
Governor Cuomo made the sweeping decrees on Wednesday. He had originally put the restrictions into place through executive orders.
He added that the 1 a.m. curfew for catered events where attendees have provided proof of vaccination status or a recent negative COVID-19 test result will be lifted May 17, with the curfew for all catered events to be lifted May 31.
Additionally, the governor ordered that catered events can resume at residences beginning May 3 above the state’s residential gathering limit of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, as long as the events are staffed by a professional, licensed caterer, and strictly adhere to gathering limits, masks and social distancing.
“We know the COVID positivity rate is a function of our behavior, and over the last year New Yorkers have remained disciplined and continued with the practices we know work to stop the spread of the virus,” Cuomo said. “Everything we’ve been doing is working — all the arrows are pointing in the right direction and now we’re able to increase economic activity even more. Lifting these restrictions for restaurants, bars and catering companies will allow these businesses that have been devastated by the pandemic to begin to recover as we return to a new normal in a post-pandemic world. To be clear: We will only be able to maintain this progress if everyone gets the COVID vaccine. It is the weapon that will will the war and we need everyone to take it, otherwise we risk going backward.”
On April 26, Cuomo announced that spectator capacity at large-scale outdoor event venues, including professional and collegiate sports and live performing arts and entertainment, will increase from 20 to 33 percent beginning May 19. This increase will coincide with the previously announced increase in large-scale indoor event venue capacity. Social distancing, masks, health screenings and all other state health and safety protocols remain in effect.
The governor also announced that, starting May 15, capacities would be increased for several industries that have proven to safely reopen in accordance with the state’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines:
- Gyms and fitness centers outside of New York City will increase from 33% to 50% capacity.
- Casinos and gaming facilities will increase from 25% to 50% capacity.
- Offices will increase from 50% to 75% capacity.