NEW YORK - New York State will begin a major reopening on May 19 with most COVID capacity restrictions to be lifted while around-the-clock New York City subway service will be allowed to resume on May 17, announced New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday.
With continued declining rates of the coronavirus, the governor, speaking to a room of reporters, said it was time to allow retail, food services, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barbershops, and offices to fully reopen.
"No capacity restrictions on all of those activities," Cuomo said.
The six-foot social distancing requirement will remain in effect unless all people present can prove they've been vaccinated or can show a recent negative test.
"If the CDC changes their guidance, then we'll change our guidance," added Cuomo.
All the various sectors of the economy including Broadway may choose to open on a different date due to critical mass limitations.
New Jersey and Connecticut will join the Empire State in following the same plan, according to Cuomo.
"The key is a smart reopening," added Cuomo. "It is a measured reopening. We are at a point now that we are going to take a major step to reopening."
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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said in a statement the upcoming lifting of restrictions are a "hard-earned milestone" in the pandemic fight.
"As vaccination numbers continue to grow and new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to rapidly decline — now is the time to reopen," Curran said. "Nassau is ready to reopen — our residents are ready, our businesses and downtowns are ready — let's do this."
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