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Speaking to the press on Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the recent model of allowing pretested fans into Buffalo Bills Stadium can be replicated to include other events – including wedding receptions.
“Going forward, we are very excited about the possibility of reopening venues with testing,” he said. “We demonstrated it in Buffalo at the Buffalo Bills playoff game. Seven thousand people tested before they went into the stadium. We've had virtually no cases of (coronavirus) spread from that game, 7,000 people. We're not going to have the full vaccine for many, many months. In New York, we want to use testing as the key to reopening events, and we tested it in Buffalo and we want to start to extend it.
“We're going to extend it in New York state safe marriage receptions. A promise of marital bliss is returning. All patrons who attend the event will be tested. You can have 50% capacity of the venue, up to 150 people. It has to be approved by the local health department and this will go into effect March 15.
“We are developing more rapid testing capacity all across the state. We're also developing an app which a person, once they receive the test, can have on the app. We're excited about this.
“We're also developing guidance, much like marriage receptions, for events where you can do testing and you can do monitoring and the local health department can regulate it.”
Of course, Cuomo said just because people can do something doesn’t mean they will do something.
“For a lot of these venues, I don't believe it's about the government's restrictions. I believe if I said today movie theaters can open to 100%, I don't believe people go. I believe people have to be confident that it's safe, and if you can say everyone in this reception is going to be tested,” he said.