A new day is dawning for New York's concert venues after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a lift on capacity-related restrictions effective later this month.
Beginning May 19th, large-scale indoor venues have been given the go-ahead to operate at 30% capacity, up from 10%. Meanwhile, outdoor venues have been permitted to scale up to 33%.
Currently, venues have been instructed not to exceed 500 attendees for outdoor events and 250 attendees for indoor events. However, going forward venues will be permitted to exceed this limit if attendees produce a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination prior to entry and as long as the venue enforces social distancing and mask-wearing.
The cutback in restrictions arrives amid a successful vaccine campaign. Thus far, an estimated 50% of New York City's population has received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, and 37% have been fully vaccinated.
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The Biden administration has its sights set on ensuring 70% of adults receive at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4th. Cuomo cautioned that now is not the time to be lulled into a false sense of comfort, and continuing the vaccination trajectory will be key to moving forward with reopening. To that end, his office additionally shared that by June 19th there is the possibility large venues will be able to relax social distancing measures assuming infection rates continue to downtrend.