There are stipulations to the reopening of venues including masks must be worn and social distancing precautions must remain in place. Indoor venues will be able to operate at 33% with a max of 100 guests, and 150 guests if the venue also provides COVID testing. Outdoor venues can have up to 200 guests and 500 with testing.
There are some concerns for smaller businesses who may not be able to cover costs with reduced capacities, with some projecting the actual capacity of the venues will be much lower when social distancing is accounted for. As of March 7, New York is the only state in the US with over 5000 COVID cases daily, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
But many still are very excited about the scheduled openings. The Tank, the Joyce Theater, and Signature Theater are just a few of the venues that have already confirmed they will be opening this spring and summer season.
The announcement comes after Gov. Cuomo announced a program that NY would show a COVID-19 passport before entering large venues, such as sporting arenas, or theaters. Called the “Excelsior Pass,” it can be printed out at home, or stored virtually on the "Wallet App."
“The Excelsior Pass will play a critical role in getting information to venues and sites in a secure and streamlined way, allowing us to fast-track the reopening of these businesses and getting us one step closer to reaching a new normal,” Governor Cuomo said.
On March 2 the pass system was tested at a New York Ranger’s game at Madison Square Garden. The venue had positive feedback about the test leading to Gov. Cuomo’s decision to go forward with the plan.