Governor Andrew Cuomo is ready to relax restrictions on gatherings in New York, a decision that will allow for live performances to once again resume in the state, effective April 2nd.

At a recent news conference, Cuomo stated that venues will be able to reopen at limited capacity. Gatherings will be limited to operating at 33% capacit, and will include a cap of 100 patrons indoors or 200 for outdoor events. The limits will be extended to 150 patrons indoors or 500 for outdoor events if all attendees provide negative tests prior to entering the events. Upon reopening, attendees will be expected to continue social distancing and wearing masks, according to The New York Times.

In response, Actors’ Equity Association, a labor union representing actors and stage managers in the performing arts space, called on the Governor to prioritize getting workers in the arts vaccinated in order for them to safely return to work. 

While the news signals the worst chapters of the pandemic may be over, some business owners are assessing how much financial sense it will make to reopen at limited capacity given the cost of paying performers. Furthermore, accounting for appropriate social distancing space indoors may put additional restrictions on the number of patrons smaller venues can reasonably expect to hold in the near term.

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