New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the state will be allowing arenas with a capacity for over 10,000 people to open with 10 percent capacity for sports events and music performances. These events will also have to enforce social-distancing measures such as mandatory mask-wearing and socially-distanced seating.
Attendees will also need to provide proof of having received a negative PCR test result 72 hours before an event and will also need to have their temperatures checked upon entrance. The first arena event that is currently scheduled is the Brooklyn Nets vs Sacramento Kings game at Barclays Center on February 23. Cuomo cited a Buffalo Bills playoff game in January, where there were “no discernible rise of COVID cases,” which the governor called an “unparalleled success.”
“The truth is, we cannot stay closed until everyone is vaccinated,” Cuomo said in a statement obtained by The BrooklynVegan. “The economic, psychological, emotional cost would be incredible.”
New York City is also opening up the opportunity for venues and other organizations to hold cultural events on the city’s public streets this year. This Open Culture program will allow organizations to apply for event permits from March 1 all the way through October 31. These events will also enforce strict social distancing guidelines for volunteers and attendees.
Other states such as California are also loosening COVID-19 restrictions for restaurants and gyms, which are also required to maintain strict social-distancing measures. Over 40 U.S. theme parks have also set reopening dates scheduled for this year.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat