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New York loosens restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings

6 March 2021
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2 min.
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New York loosens restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings

Reducing restrictions

New York State is easing restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings at the end of March, officials said at a press briefing in Albany.

Beginning March 22, private gatherings can expand to 25 people outdoors, but the norm of up to 10 people indoors must be met.

The required norm for gatherings in public places increases from 50 to 100 people indoors and up to 200 people outdoors. Based on previous experience during Buffalo Bills playoff games, meetings in arts and entertainment venues could also start April 2 at 33% capacity.

But social distance and mask-wearing requirements will remain mandatory.

Event organisers at arts and entertainment venues are able to hold meetings with large numbers of people if all participants pass the COVID-19 test. In addition, larger gatherings of up to 150 people indoors and 500 people outdoors will be permitted with proper testing records.

Weddings follow a slightly different set of rules. Starting March 15, wedding ceremonies with up to 150 people or 50% capacity may resume if all participants test negative for COVID-19.

The state is launching an initiative called Excelsior Pass, which allows you to report your coronavirus test results through a smartphone app, which is being piloted at Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center.

"Everyone wants all restrictions lifted", Cuomo told reporters. "But you also have to be careful about reopening. In my opinion, some states are going too far, too fast. And it's dangerous because COVID is still a risk".

According to state data released Wednesday, New York City's COVID-19 infection rate remains one of the highest in the state at 4.02. The Bronx has the highest incidence rate at 5.14%, about double that of Manhattan. In Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island the rates of positive tests for coronavirus were 4.39%, 4.26% and 4.11% respectively.

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