Monday, June 14

New York State Reopens—and Increases Capacity for—Restaurants and Entertainment Venues


While face coverings and 6 feet social distancing are still required, New York businesses are eager to reopen to the public and increase their capacities. Below is a rundown of New York State reopening and increased capacity for restaurants, stadiums, arenas, arts and entertainment, amusement centers, movie theatres and in-person catered events.

Restaurants. As of March 19th Restaurant indoor dining restrictions were relaxed as follows[1]:

  • Outside NYC indoor dining is permitted up to 75% capacity;
  • Within NYC indoor dining is permitted up to 35% capacity;
  • Restaurants may not open until 5 AM and must close by 11 PM;
  • 6 feet social distancing or 5 feet physical barriers; and
  • Face coverings when not at table.

Stadiums and arenas. As of February 23rd Sports and entertainment events in major stadiums and arenas with at least 10,000 capacity reopened as of February 23, 2021 with the following restrictions[2]:

  • Capacity is limited to 10%;
  • Venues and events must get NY DOH approval;
  • All staff and spectators must receive a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of the event;
  • Attendees must wear face coverings, observe social distancing, undergo temperature checks and provide contact tracing information;
  • Assigned, socially distanced seating;
  • Enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards; and
  • Ensure retail, food services and athletic activities abide by all state-issued guidance.

Arts and entertainment venues. As of April 2nd Arts and Entertainment Venues can reopen with the following restrictions[3]:

  • Without a negative COVID-19 test, they can reopen at 33% capacity, up to 100 people indoors and up to 200 people outdoors; and
  • With a negative COVID-19 test by all attendees, they can reopen with capacities of up to 150 people indoors and up to 500 people outdoors.

Social gatherings. As of March 22nd, Social Gatherings are permitted with the following restrictions[4]:

  • Residential social gatherings remain limited to 10 people indoors but up to 25 people outdoors; and
  • Non-residential social gatherings are expanded to 100 people indoors and up to 200 people outdoors.

Indoor entertainment. As of March 26th, Indoor Family Entertainment and Amusement Centers can reopen at 25% capacity and as of April 9th, Outdoor Amusement Parks can reopen at 33% capacity with the following restrictions[5]:

  • Advanced ticketing and staggered entry/exit and wait times;
  • Customers must provide contact tracing information;
  • High-touch areas, attractions, and rides must be frequently cleaned and disinfected;
  • Attractions that cannot ensure distancing or frequent cleaning/disinfection must close;
  • Enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification indoors; and
  • Retail, food services and recreational activities must abide by NY State guidance.

Movie theatres. As of March 5th Movie Theatres can reopen at 25% capacity with up to 50 people maximum per screen with the following restrictions[6]:

  • Face coverings at all times except when seated and eating or drinking;
  • Social distancing and assigned seating; and
  • Enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification.

Catered events. As of In-Person Catered Events at Commercial Venues can open with capacity limited to the lesser of 50% or 150 people (excluding employees and event staff)[7]:

  • In-Person Catered Events may only occur from 5 AM until 12 AM;
  • At least 5 days prior to the event, the venue must submit event details to NYDOH;
  • Attendees must provide the venue with contact tracing information and a negative COVID-19 test;
  • Employees and staff must have negative COVID-19 tests or complete the COVID-19 vaccination at least 14 days prior to event;
  • Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking; and
  • Ceremonial and socially-distanced dancing allowed under strict guidelines.



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