New York is easing some of its capacity restrictions but is still not allowing certain businesses to operate at 100 percent capacity, despite red states such as Florida and Texas doing so and continually reporting fewer new cases of the Chinese coronavirus per capita than the Empire State, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced on Monday.
Cuomo announced the revamped restrictions on Monday, which will allow gyms and fitness centers in the state to increase capacity from 33 percent to 50 percent. The state will permit casinos and gaming facilities to increase from 25 percent to 50 percent capacity, and offices will be able to increase capacity from 50 percent to 75 percent. Those increases will go into effect on May 15.
Additionally, large-scale events will be able to increase from 20 percent to 33 percent beginning May 19:
Starting May 15, capacity can increase as follows:
🏢Offices from 50% to 75%
🏋️Gyms outside NYC from 33% to 50%
ἻCasinos & gaming facilities from 25% to 50%
On May 19, spectator capacity outdoors can increase from 20% to 33%.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 26, 2021
“We are making tremendous progress in the fight against COVID-19 — our vaccination rates are going up and the positivity and hospitalization rates are going down, so now we are going to open the valves of our economy even further,” Cuomo said.
“We are increasing the capacity limits throughout several industries, including gyms outside of New York City, casinos, offices and large-scale outdoor event venues,” he continued, calling it “great news” but warning the state is “not out of the woods yet.”
“Washing hands, wearing masks and staying socially distanced are critical tools each of us can use to slow the spread as we continue our efforts to defeat COVID once and for all,” he added.
There is no immediate word when the state will phase out the mask mandate.
Notably, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), whom critics attacked last year throughout the pandemic while praising the Democrat governor of New York, never implemented a statewide mask mandate and opened the state for business months ago, vowing to never do lockdowns again. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, Florida has consistently reported fewer new cases of the virus per capita than the blue state ,despite an absence of heavy restrictions.