NYC opening information: Dates and particulars for occasions, museums, eating, journey, and extra
Photo by Florian Wehde on Unsplash
Today has been a year since the first COVID-19 case was discovered in New York. It’s been a long and painful 365 days, but we’re finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. More than 8 percent of New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, and we have reopening dates for nearly every aspect of city life, including sports stadiums and arenas, restaurants, events, museums, weddings, amusement parks, movie theaters, and travel. First of all, we’ve compiled a list of all the reopening dates and details in New York City. We will update this list as more information becomes available.
MUSEUMS + OTHER CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS
Indoor museums with a capacity of 25 percent were able to reopen on August 24th. Policies include timed ticketing, preset staggered access, face coverage enforcement, and controlled traffic flow. Most museums require timed tickets to be purchased in advance.
Currently, more than 50 branches of the New York Public Library are open for takeaway pickups and book returns. The library’s research centers will remain closed, but will serve customers virtually. The Brooklyn Public Library has opened lobby service at most locations, while more than 30 Queens Public Library locations are open for take-away service.
THEATER + VENUES
Indoor theaters in New York will remain closed. However, the state launched the NY PopsUp program last month, part of Governor Cuomo’s Arts Revival initiative aimed at bringing the arts and culture back to the state. Between February 20 and June, the state will sponsor more than 300 pop-up events and outdoor performances culminating with the opening of Little Island at Pier 55 and the 20th anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival. By this time, the governor expects at least 1,000 performances and events. He also believes NY PopsUp will be a stepping stone to reopening indoor spaces with rapid COVID-19 testing. Some of the “flexible” venues that could reopen under the program include The Shed, Apollo Theater, Harlem Stage, La MaMa and Alice Busch Opera Theater.
LARGE ARENAS + STADIUM
From February 23, large arenas and stadiums were able to welcome fans and audiences again. You must first submit a plan to the state’s Department of Health for approval. Requirements include capacity limits of 10 percent for locations with a capacity of 10,000 people or more, face covering, social distancing, temperature checks, assigned seating, and a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of the event for fans.
Previously approved venues are the Barclays Center, which is currently home to the Brooklyn Nets, and Madison Square Garden, which is currently where the Nets and Rangers are playing. Tickets for concerts at MSG venues such as Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theater and the Garden itself will be available from the end of April.
There have been no announcements of fans at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, but both teams have welcomed limited fans to their spring training games. Both stages are currently used as mass vaccination sites.
Indoor entertainment centers can reopen from March 26th with a capacity of 25 percent, while amusement parks and outdoor rides can reopen on April 9th with a capacity of 33 percent. Both groups are required to sanitize high-contact areas throughout the day, enforce compliance by staff, and sell timed tickets in advance. Customers are required to have health screening and temperature checks, and face covering and social distancing will be mandatory.
Pool and pool halls reopen March 5 with 35 percent capacity in New York City and 50 percent outside New York City.
New York cinemas can reopen on March 5th with a capacity of 25 percent and a limit of 50 people. Previously, theaters in the rest of the state were allowed to reopen in October under these guidelines. Masks are always required except when you are sitting and eating or drinking. Assigned, socially distant seating is required.
WEDDING RECEPTIONS + CATERED EVENTS
Starting March 15, New York wedding receptions and catering events can take place at 50 percent of the capacity of a venue, up to 150 people. (Currently, a maximum of 50 people are allowed at weddings.) For these events, which must be approved by the local health department, all guests must have a rapid COVID test or be fully vaccinated and provide contact tracking information. According to current state guidelines, masks should always be worn when you are not eating or drinking, including while dancing. Venues must create “dance zones” that are at least three feet apart and where members of the same household can dance.
RESTAURANTS + FOOD
On February 14, restaurants were able to start dining indoors again at 25 percent, and on February 26, capacity was increased to 35 percent. The closing time for bars, restaurants and other shops has also been extended from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. Government regulations for indoor dining require temperature checks, tables six feet apart, and face covers, which are required for all guests when they are not seated at a table. Outdoor dining continues and is open all year round.
Last May, NYC shut down the 24-hour subway and bus service for disinfecting trains, buses and stations. However, in February the system was closed for cleaning from 2 to 4 a.m. instead of 1 to 5 a.m.