New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the state’s music venues will be able to open back up at 33 per cent capacity from early next month.
Reported today (March 4) by The New York Times, Cuomo revealed at a press conference that April 2 will see arts, entertainment and events venues be able to reopen at a limited capacity.
Attendance is capped at 100 people for indoor venues and 200 people for outdoor venues. However, this cap can be increased to 150 and 500 people respectively if all attendees test negative before entering, should a venue be able to administer COVID-19 tests prior.
In addition, masks will have to be worn by all attendees and events must be socially distanced.
However, a few music venue owners have said the limited capacity restrictions don’t yet justify the costs of opening back up.
Greenwich Village’s Blue Note Jazz Club owner, Steven Bensusan, told NYT, “It doesn’t make financial sense for the Blue Note to open with only 66 seats for shows.”
Michael Swier, owner of iconic NYC venues Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge, echoed Bensusan’s sentiment, saying “Given that social distancing is still part of the metric, it brings us back down to an approximate 20 percent capacity, which is untenable.”
This announcement from Cuomo comes shortly after New York City’s two major arenas, Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center, reopened with reduced capacity late last month.
In addition, cinemas in the state are set to open back up tomorrow (March 5).