New York City is opening most of its businesses at full capacity starting Wednesday, taking its biggest step toward post-pandemic normalcy more than a year after coronavirus shutdowns ravaged the city that never sleeps, The New York Times reported.
Fourteen months after coronavirus restrictions began, most businesses can reopen at 100% capacity if six feet of social distancing are kept in place. Vaccinated people in most cases will no longer have to wear masks, indoors or outdoors, unless businesses require them.
Theaters and large venues, such as ballparks, can return to full capacity, up from one-third, if patrons can show proof of vaccination. House parties will be allowed, with up to 50 people allowed to gather indoors in private homes.
Following new federal guidance, masks will still be required on public transit and in schools from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, in homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes and health care settings.
In the coming weeks, major venues like Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden will be re-opening or lifting capacity at indoor concerts, shows and sporting events. Patrons will have to show proof of vaccination, either digitally or by paper, to enter. In venues that allow unvaccinated attendees, patrons will have to test negative for the virus to sit in vaccinated sections.
About 43% of people in New York State are fully vaccinated, including more than half of New York City residents, which has led to plummeting cases as more New Yorkers get shots. About 37% of Americans are fully vaccinated in the U.S.