NYS Government and Legislative Update – 5.4.21

In an announcement yesterday with the Governors of New Jersey and Connecticut, Governor Cuomo announced that as of May 19, 2021, almost all capacity and gathering restrictions in the three states will be lifted. This means that as of May 19, capacity limits at all commercial settings, including retail, food services, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and other personal care service and houses of worship, are removed. However, the lifting of these restrictions is still contingent upon the businesses and venues enforcing the six feet of social distancing and mask rules. The social distancing requirements can be waived if there is a requirement that all present be vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test. Some industry requirements will also remain in place related to health screenings, contact information for tracing, enhanced air handling and building system standards, hand hygiene, and environmental cleaning and disinfection protocols.

There will still be some capacity limits for certain venues and activities. Large-scale indoor venue capacity will increase to 30% and the large-scale outdoor venue capacity will increase to 33% also on May 19, and there will still be proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for entry into these venues.

For social gatherings, the outdoor social gathering limit will increase from 250 to 500 people on May 10, and the indoor social gathering limit will increase from 100 to 250 on May 19. Further, the outdoor residential gathering limit of 25 people will be removed and be covered under the social gathering limit of 500 people with space for appropriate social distancing. The indoor residential gathering limit will increase from 10 to 50 people. Again, these capacity limits can be waived if all present are vaccinated or have a negative test result.

We anticipate that more detailed industry-specific guidance will continue to be released, so continue to visit for the most up to date information.

If you have additional questions about this update, please reach out to a member of our Government Affairs practice group for assistance:

Amy J. Kellogg
John M. Jennings

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