Starting May 19, limitations and restrictions on gathering at places of religious worship will be lifted in both- New York as well as New Jersey, amidst another set of reopening announcements by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday.

Along with religious institutions, small businesses such as restaurants, offices, beauty salons, gyms, and hair salons will also be allowed to reopen on the 19th of May, while the Subway will resume its 24-hour run starting May 17. In his announcement on Monday,  the Democratic governor said that the city subway service will return to 24-hour operation on May 17 after being closed for cleaning during overnight hours since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic last year. More than 2 million people rode New York City subways per day in April — the highest level since COVID-19 cases surged last spring.

Source: Flickr

Talking about business reopenings which are slated for the 19th of this month, Cuomo said businesses will still have to limit how many people can enter their doors. Businesses are still required to provide enough space for people to keep 6 feet of social distancing space, even after the limits based on overall capacity go away, the governor said. 

Cuomo’s announcement came the day after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for the resumption of around-the-clock subway service. “The city that never sleeps is slowly — but surely — living up to its name again and waking up from the COVID-19 pandemic, but so should the subway system, and ASAP,” Schumer, a New York Democrat, said at a news conference Sunday.

Source: Los Angeles Times (Hans Pennink / Associated Press)

Speaking about the subway reopenings, Cuomo also reiterated that the standards of cleanliness should remain high when the overnight closure ends. “You’re trying to build confidence for people to get back on the subways,” he said. “I want to know the subway is going to be clean.”

Meanwhile, the existing capacity rules for sports and entertainment events at large indoor and outdoor venues will also be eased in the coming weeks. Cuomo said he wants to allow events, like baseball games, to welcome more people if all attendees are fully vaccinated or have a recent negative COVID-19 test.

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Rhea Sovani

Author Rhea Sovani

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