Governor Andrew Cuomo says some of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions in New York will end in a couple of weeks.
The easing of restrictions that have been in place for over a year paves the way for a fuller reopening of offices, restaurants and indoor gatherings, including Broadway theaters and other arts venues. The lifting of capacity restrictions also applies to retail stores, gyms and fitness centers and barber shops and hair salons.
“We are at a point now where we are going to take a major step forward in reopening,” Cuomo said.
The governor said everything can’t be reopened all at once — it’s not like flipping a “light switch,” he said — and some restrictions will remain for now.
The six-foot social distancing rule will still be in place, unless everyone at the event or in a workplace is fully vaccinated. That will limit whether some indoor spaces can truly reopen at 100% capacity. And restaurants also still have to follow the six-foot rule, unless they have erected physical barriers between tables.
For now, large outdoor stadiums will still be restricted to a third of total capacity.
Cuomo said New Jersey and Connecticut also will be lifting their capacity restrictions.
Limits on outdoor social gatherings will be eased, too — on May 10, up to 500 people can gather outdoors.
Indoor social events will increase to a maximum of 250 people on May 19. On that date, restrictions on outdoor gatherings at private residences will end, and up to 50 people will be allowed to gather inside a home. And curfews on closing times for bars and restaurants will end at the end of May.
As a result, Cuomo said the New York City subway service will resume 24 hour service starting on May 17.