New York joined the growing list of states that are now fully reopened when Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced June 15 that COVID restrictions would be lifted statewide immediately. The move to fully reopen was based on a 70 percent rate for New Yorkers 18 or older receiving their first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination series.

"What New York has done is extraordinary. Not only do we have the lowest COVID positivity rate in the United States of America, we have hit 70 percent vaccination ahead of schedule. We successfully deployed the weapon that will win the war, and New York led the nation," Cuomo said.

The new guidelines--including social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact information for tracingare now optional for retail, food services, offices, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and personal care services, among other commercial settings.

"All the state-mandated restrictions are lifted on commercial social settings, sports and recreation construction, manufacturing, retail buildings, all across the board we can get back to living and businesses can open, because the state mandates are gone, social gathering restrictions, capacity restrictions, the health screenings, [and] the cleaning and disinfecting protocols," Cuomo said.

The state's COVID restrictions remain in effect for large-scale indoor event venues that hold more than 5,000 people. Consistent with the state's implementation of the CDC guidelines, proof of vaccination can be used to eliminate social distancing and remove masks for event attendees who are fully vaccinated. People who are unvaccinated or are of unknown vaccination status over the age of 4 must continue to present proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test result and wear masks within the venue. However, social distancing can be reduced or eliminated between tested attendees, allowing venues to reach 100 percent capacity in all sections.

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