Gov. Cuomo continues to release new COVID-related rules for New York State.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that as New York's hospitalization and COVID-19 infection rates continue to decline, New York is issuing guidance to begin re-opening additional sectors of the economy.

Specifically, billiard halls statewide and movie theaters in New York City are now permitted to re-open. Additionally, guidance is also being released for weddings and catered events which are scheduled to resume on March 15.

"From day one, we have said that our COVID recovery is not a choice between public health and the economy - it has to be both - and in New York we're demonstrating how to do that safely and smartly," Cuomo said. "Thanks to the hard work and commitment of all New Yorkers, our infection rate is now the lowest we've seen in three months, and accordingly we will now be reopening various recreational activities across the state including billiard halls, weddings and movie theaters in New York City. As our infection rate continues to fall, and the vaccination rate continues to climb, we will keep reopening different sectors of our state's economy and focus our efforts on building our state back better than it was before."

Specific summary guidelines for each industry are as follows:

Starting March 5

Billiard/Pool Halls

  • Halls are restricted to 50 percent capacity outside of New York City; 35 percent capacity in New York City
  • Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking.
  • Mandatory social distancing must be enforced, or physical barriers between parties of patrons/players must be installed.
  • Each party must be assigned to a table to avoid comingling.
  • Staff must rigorously clean and disinfect any rented or shared equipment between use.

Movie Theaters in New York City

  • Venues are restricted to 25 percent capacity, with no more than 50 people per screen at a time.
  • Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking.
  • Assigned seating will be required in all theaters.
  • Social distancing between parties will be required at all times.
  • Additional staffing will be required to control occupancy, traffic and seating to ensure compliance.
  • Enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards must be met by theaters.
  • This action brings New York City movie theaters in line with movie theaters throughout the rest of the state.

In addition, movie theaters that have been closed in any remaining parts of the state may also open in accordance with the guidance.

Starting March 15:

Weddings and Catered Events

  • Venues are restricted to 50 capacity, with no more than 150 people per event.
  • All patrons must be tested prior to the event.
  • Sign-in with contact information required to assist with potential contact tracing.
  • Venues must notify local health departments of large events, above the social gathering limit, in advance.
  • Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking.
    Ceremonial and socially-distanced dancing allowed under strict guidelines.

Cuomo also announced expanded guidelines for nursing home visitors. The new guidance goes into effect on Friday.

For counties with COVID-19 positivity rates between 5-10 percent on a 7-day rolling average, visitor testing is required and visitors must either present with a negative COVID-19 test, either PCR or rapid, within 72 hours or facilities may utilize rapid tests to meet the requirement.

For counties with COVID-19 positivity rates below 5 percent on a 7-day rolling average, visitor testing is strongly encouraged and rapid tests may be utilized. Alternatively, visitors may provide proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination no less than 14 days from the date of the visit and no more than 90 days prior to the visit. Visitation will not be permitted if the county's COVID-19 positivity rate is greater than ten percent. Compassionate care visits are always permitted.

Based on the needs of residents and a facility's structure, visitation can be conducted in resident rooms, dedicated visitation spaces and outdoors. The number of visitors to the nursing home must not exceed 20 percent of the resident census at any time and the number of visitors and time allocated to visitation should be considerate of this capacity limitation.

"One of the most devastating aspects of this virus has been how it separated families from their loved ones, making an already difficult situation even harder to bear," Cuomo said. "Thanks to the dedication of New Yorkers, we're now at a point where we can begin to expand nursing home visitations under strict guidelines to protect the health and safety of residents."

For all the news that the Hudson Valley is sharing make sure to follow Hudson Valley Post on Facebook, download the Hudson Valley Post Mobile App and sign up for the Hudson Valley Post newsletter.

Keep Reading:

The 100 Best Places to Live in the Midwest

LOOK: 50 Black actors who made entertainment history