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√ Curfew will be removed for outdoor dining areas beginning May 17, indoor areas beginning May 31
√ Curfew for catered events where attendees have proof of vaccination status or negative COVID-19 test result will be lifted beginning May 17, with curfew for all catered events lifted May 31
√ Catered events can resume at residences beginning May 3 in accordance with state's reopening guidelines
√ Seating allowed at bars in New York City beginning May 3
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced the midnight food and beverage service curfew will be lifted for outdoor dining areas beginning May 17 and for indoor dining areas beginning May 31.
He also announced the 1 a.m. curfew for catered events where attendees have provided proof of vaccination status or a recent negative COVID-19 test result will be lifted beginning May 17, with the curfew for all catered events set to be lifted May 31.
Additionally, the governor announced catered events can resume at residences beginning May 3 above the state's residential gathering limit of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, as long as the events are staffed by a professional, licensed caterer, permitted by the respective locality or municipality, and strictly adhere to health and safety guidance, including social and event gathering limits, masks and social distancing. Also on May 3, the guidance for dancing among attendees at catered events will be aligned with neighboring states, replacing fixed dance zones for each table with social distancing and masks.
Finally, the governor announced that, starting May 3, seating at bars will be allowed in New York City, consistent with the food services guidance that is in effect statewide.
"We know the COVID positivity rate is a function of our behavior, and over the last year New Yorkers have remained disciplined and continued with the practices we know work to stop the spread of the virus," Cuomo said. "Everything we've been doing is working – all the arrows are pointing in the right direction and now we're able to increase economic activity even more. Lifting these restrictions for restaurants, bars and catering companies will allow these businesses that have been devastated by the pandemic to begin to recover as we return to a new normal in a postpandemic world.
“To be clear: We will only be able to maintain this progress if everyone gets the COVID vaccine. It is the weapon that will the war and we need everyone to take it, otherwise we risk going backward."
This announcement on food and beverage service and catered events builds on the governor's recent measures to further reopen the economy amid a steady decline in New York's COVID-19 positivity and hospitalization rates. On Monday, he announced spectator capacity at large-scale outdoor event venues, including professional and collegiate sports and live performing arts and entertainment, will increase from 20 to 33% beginning May 19. This increase will coincide with the previously announced increase in large-scale indoor event venue capacity. Social distancing, masks, health screenings and all other state health and safety protocols remain in effect.
The governor also announced capacities would be increased throughout several industries that his team said have proven to safely reopen in accordance with the state's COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Starting May 15:
√ Gyms and fitness centers outside of New York City will increase from 33% to 50% capacity.
√ Casinos and gaming facilities will increase from 25% to 50% capacity.
√ Offices will increase from 50% to 75% capacity.