New York City governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that New York venues can reopen at full-capacity for fully vaccinated audiences. Those venues include Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall. Both venues have tickets currently offered for fully vaccinated patrons only. 44.6% of the state’s population is vaccinated and live in the city. This means audiences can come back to more than 6,000 people starting June 19th.
“Having Radio City back at 100%, without masks, with people enjoying New York, and the…arts, is going to be not only symbolic and metaphoric. [But] I think it’s going to go a long way toward bringing back this state”Governor Andrew Cuomo
No details as to entry with these new rules have been disclosed. Will COVID-19 safety measures still be implemented regardless of vaccinated people? Will vaccination cards be mandated to be presented upon entry? How will ticketing systems know who is vaccinated and who isn’t in order to sell to? There are so many questions that still need answers. One thing has been disclosed, and that is the use of Excelsior Pass for determining vaccination status. This is an app launched by the NY state using QR codes to verify proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests. The Brooklyn Nets game trialed this in February 27th as did the NY Rangers hockey game on March 2nd.
Now that states are opening up one by one according to their own rules, we shall see. Nevada is set to reopen at 100% on June 1st, while California’s save the date is June 15th. What will be the new norm and can we go back to the way things were before? NY’s largest indoor gathering took place on Sunday for the first round of NBA Playoffs at MSG. Crowds contained 90% vaccinated attendees with no masks or social distancing required. What do you think?