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New York City is your oyster, once it opens, if you’re vaccinated: Cuomo

Bartender Shane Buggy, 34, cleans dividers placed on the bar top at McSorley's Old Ale House, a 167 year old bar that until now has never featured bar seating, as restrictions eased on indoor drinking in bars, allowing seating at the bar, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., May 3, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Why wait for July? New York is reopening on May 19 in similar fashion to its closure in March 2020: in coordination with neighboring states New Jersey and Connecticut.

That’s what Governor Andrew Cuomo plans as restrictions are set to be lifted gradually throughout the month of May, many of which apply to the restaurant industry, events,, workplaces as well as transportation with a return to 24-hour service.

“It is irrefutable, when you look at the numbers that New Yorkers have made tremendous progress, all the arrows are pointed in the right direction, have been for a while, and are dramatically pointing in the right direction. So it’s time to re adjust the decision made on the science, and on the data, right. So today we announced a major reopening of New York State on May 19. The key is a smart reopen reopening is not a light switch,” Cuomo said Monday.

The governor’s new mandates matches those across the Tri-State area to prevent people from enjoying amenities in one location before returning home – with COVID-19.

Capacity restrictions on retail stores, food services, gyms, fitness centers, amusement parks, hair salons, barber shops, offices as well as theaters and museum will end on May 19. Where the Cuomo administration’s ordinances depart from the other states which have cooperated with New York in the past year is where dining is concerned.

Starting May 17, outdoor food and beverage services will not longer have a curfew on — while the same regulation will be lifted on indoor establishments May 31, which Cuomo announced on Thursday.

In New Jersey and Connecticut, a joint protocol could allow the 33% capacity in stadiums to increase with depending on whether or not an individuals vaccinated or has been tested for COVID-19.

The Cuomo administration was cautious to ditch the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation of maintaining six feet of distance, but could change if the federal institution does away with it. Capacity requirements at venues will still be subject to affording patron six feet of distance, however.

So, this room has a capacity restriction, and the capacity restriction applies up to the point where you can afford six foot social distancing,” Cuomo said in the briefing room of his Manhattan office. “If the CDC changes their guidance, then we’ll change our guidance. But having said that, for events that can show proof of vaccination or recent negative tests, the six foot limit does not need to apply.”

Cuomo hopes that keeping unvaccinated or untested individuals from participating in certain social events will incentivize more New Yorkers to get the jab.

New York state, according to the governor, has up to 7 million fully vaccinated people while the city has up to 6.6 million shots administered, as reported by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday morning.

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