From May 19, New York clubs can raise their capacity limits to allow for more people in both indoor and outdoor venues.
Clubs can also lift their curfews, according to New York Governor Cuomo who has enforced the change. Indoor venues will be able to operate at 30% capacity as opposed to the previous 10%, while large-scale outdoor events will be able to run at a third full.
The state of New York recently passed two million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, while New York City accounts for 100,000 of those. Now, as infection rates drop, the state has plans for reopening.
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Currently, only 250 people are permitted to indoor venues and 500 to outdoor events, although limits can be exceeded by the end of the month provided proof of a negative test or vaccination are shown. Social distancing must be maintained, and masks are required in some venues.
As venues begin to prepare for the change, some club owners are disputing the safety of the relaxation measures.
Bowen Goh, co-owner of New York club Mood Ring told RA: “I think a lot of people think, 'Hey, things are going to open fully this month and I can go to a venue and party. That’s not really the case. And so, we've gotten a lot of calls from people asking, 'Are you having DJs? Are you throwing dance parties in the back?'
"The answer is no, and I'm not going to start booking people until there's a very clear sign [that it's safe]—like if cases are super low and a lot of people are vaccinated. If you can actually have people inside safely walk around without a mask on."
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Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter