As more New Yorkers are vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday announced an easing of rules that were put in place to slow the spread of the virus. These include a relaxing of rules for indoor and outdoor gatherings, as well as new capacity limits for restaurants, gyms and salons. Here are some of the highlights:
The state will keep a 6-foot social distancing requirement, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and capacity limits must incorporate that rule, the governor said.
Outdoor gatherings: Starting May 10, limits will increase from 200 to 500 people.
Business capacities: Starting May 19, most business capacities – which are based upon percentage of maximum occupancy – will be removed. Businesses will be limited by only the required social distance of 6 feet. These include retail, food services, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and other personal care services, among other settings. It will also apply in houses of worship.
Indoor gatherings: Social gatherings can increase from 100 to 250 people.
Home parties: The outdoor residential gathering limit of 25 people will be removed, reverting to the social gathering limit of 500 people with space for appropriate social distancing. The indoor residential gathering limit will increase from 10 to 50 people.
Big gatherings: Congregate commercial and social events in New York – such as sports competitions, performing arts and live entertainment and catered receptions – can exceed the social gathering limits of 500 people outdoors or 250 people indoors if all attendees over the age of 4 present either proof of full vaccination or recent negative Covid-19 test and the required social distancing can be accommodated.
Big indoor venues: Large-scale indoor event venues will operate at 30% capacity, which is an increase from the current 10% capacity limit. Large-scale outdoor event venues will operate at 33%.
Exceptions: Any event gatherings over the social gathering limits may occur only if all individuals present proof of full vaccination status or recent negative Covid-19 test result.
Health rules: Social distancing, masks and other applicable health protocols will still apply, including the requirement of attendee proof of full vaccination or recent negative Covid-19 test result.