Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo announced the lift of nearly all COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday. Now that 70 percent of the population received one dose of the vaccine, the state is ready to go back to normal. This means that social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, health screening, cleaning, and disinfection protocols contact information for tracking are now optional. Commercial businesses like retail, food services, gyms, and hair salons can still choose to apply health guidelines. However, some federal guidelines involving schools, health care, and mass transit remain.
In a highly anticipated press conference, Cuomo wanted the population and the world to remember the day. “Remember June 15″, he said. Remember today because it is the day New York rose again”. Obviously, the governor could not stress enough the importance of everybody’s effort in the pandemic. “Congratulations to New Yorkers because they’re the ones who did it,” Cuomo said. “We’re no longer in our homes disinfecting everything we can see.”
Restaurants, clubs, and bars will greatly apprecieate this news. Sadly, many of them didn’t survive the pandemic. The restaurant industry employs nearly 1 million people in the state, accounting for 9% of total employment in the state. Before the pandemic, the unemployment rate in New York state was 3.9%. That number shot up to 16.2% during the worst of the pandemic in April 2020. About one year later, the unemployment rate is at 8.2% as of April 2021.
The state still has some COVID restrictions in effect for large-scale indoor event venues, now defined as indoor venues that hold more than 5,000 attendees. Nevertheless, New York will be able to enjoy outdoor music festivals again, like Electric Zoo, which has an amazing lineup.