CORONAVIRUS

New York lifting covid restrictions: which ones will remain?

New York becomes the fourteenth state to vaccinate at least seventy percent of adults with one dose, leading the governor to lift some of the strictest covid-19 restrictions.

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New York lifting covid restrictions: which ones will remain?
David Dee Delgado AFP

New York City was once the epicenter of the global covid-19 pandemic. Hospitalized collapse, patients went without treatment and the city, and state, saw a massive wave of fatalities.

Over a year later, the city and the state more broadly are reopening, cutting restrictions, and vaccinating millions of its residents. Touting the success of his state, Governor Andrew Cuomo told the media “Not only do we have the lowest COVID positivity rate in the United States of America, we have hit 70 percent vaccination ahead of schedule.” In making these comments, Cuomo also released details on a variety of covid-19 restrictions that will be lifted in light of the positive news on vaccination.

However, businesses in New York City will need to use caution in their reopening because there are still large swaths of the adult population that have gone without their shots. These areas include the Bronx and Brooklyn where only 38 and 41 percent of adults are fully vaccinated.

What restrictions are being lifted?

Last month, New York City began operating 24-hour service on the Subway and the announcement by the governor on 15 June continued the slashing of regulations put in place last Spring.

Large-Scale Indoor Events

For large-scale indoor event venues, the state will allow them to reach their full capacity so long as those attending either proof of vaccination can be presented. For unvaccinated residents, children between the ages of four and eleven will need to present a negative covid-19 test and wear a mask to be admitted. These new rules apply to venues that are able to hold more than 5,000 people. This news was embraced by many music and sports fans who have not been able to attend games and events over the last year.

Dining

Restaurants that follow CDC guidance for fully vaccinated people will be able to increase capacity to one hundred percent, meaning that tables can be moved back to their pre-pandemic spacing.

The new regulations allow businesses to use the “honor system” when it comes to employees providing proof of vaccination. This option reduces the risk of businesses accidentally committing a privacy violation. 

What restrictions will remain in place?

Taking guidance from the CDC, mask and distancing restrictions will still be mandated in public places such as “pre-K to grade 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and health care settings.” These centers often hold vulnerable populations wear physical distancing is difficult, or where those present are not yet eligible or are unable to get their shots.