Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a new rule that will allow concert venues across New York, like Bethel Woods, to welcome back many.

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On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that large outdoor performing arts venues, including stadiums, that hold more than 2,500 people can reopen at 20 percent capacity, beginning April 1.

Venue capacity will continue to increase as the public health situation improves with more New Yorkers receiving vaccinations and fewer COVID-19 cases in the community. Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry and are subject to strict state guidance on face coverings, social distancing, and health screening.

Cuomo also announced that New York's Major League Baseball teams, the New York Mets and New York Yankees, can resume playing with spectators in the stadiums, beginning April 1.

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Professional sports in large outdoor stadiums that hold 10,000 people or more will be allowed to reopen at 20 percent capacity. Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry and are subject to strict state guidance on face coverings, social distancing, and health screening. The New York State Department of Health will re-evaluate the testing and vaccination entry requirements in May, and if the public health situation continues to improve, they may be discontinued in mid-May. Vaccinations will continue to be administered at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field during the MLB season.

"New Yorkers love to root for the home team, and it was especially difficult to see great professional sports teams close down as we implemented restrictions necessary to protect the public health," Governor Cuomo said. "As New York's COVID situation improves, we're giving New Yorkers the opportunity to cheer on the Yankees and Mets in person as long as they stay safe. I look forward to seeing our beloved teams open Citi Field and Yankee Stadium again as we continue to recover from this pandemic."

Building on the recent reopening of large professional sports arenas, the Governor also announced that smaller, regional sports venues that hold 1,500 people indoors or 2,500 people outdoors can also reopen, beginning April 1. Initial capacity will be limited to 10 percent indoors and 20 percent outdoors. Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry and are subject to strict state guidance on face coverings, social distancing, and health screening.

To re-open professional sports with spectators at large outdoor stadiums, each venue must adhere to strict health and safety protocols, including:

  • Obtain NYS DOH approval for ALL venues and events
  • Institute a 20 percent capacity limit
  • Ensure spectators and public-facing event staff present proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination prior to the event
  • Mandate face coverings, social distancing, and temperature checks for all those in attendance
  • Mandate assigned, socially distanced seating
  • Collect contact information from all those in attendance to help inform contact tracing efforts
  • Meet enhanced air filtration, ventilation, and purification standards for any indoor areas
  • Ensure retail, food services and athletic activities abide by all State-issued guidance

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