New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced at a press conference on Saturday that cinemas in the state – but not New York City – will reopen at 25% capacity from October 23rd. Cinemas have been closed since mid-March when the state went into curfew.
The limited reopening only applies to districts with an infection rate of less than 2% on a 14-day average and no COVID-19 hotspots. These provisions exclude several counties, including Rockland, Orange, and Broome.
New Yorkers returning to the cinema for the first time in almost seven months have to wear masks and social distance from other guests. Only 50 people are allowed per screen.
Cuomo held his press conference as the US faces a fallThat said, states are reporting record numbers of new COVID-19 cases nationwide.
“You will see increased virus transmission rates in the fall. Fact,” said the governor, reiterating Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert. Fauci told CBS Evening News presenter and editor-in-chief Norah O’Donnell this week that the United States will have to redouble its coronavirus containment efforts as we enter the fall and winter months.
“What we really need to do is double up on preventive measures like social distancing and the wearing of masks,” Fauci said.
Cuomo said Saturday that New York is implementing a “micro-cluster strategy” to combat the seasonal surge. He said a wealth of data from a total of around 12 million tests will now make it possible to analyze clusters “block by block”.
“If there is a cluster, it means that there is no compliance,” he said on Saturday. “The only answer to a lack of compliance is enforcement.”
Earlier this month, Cuomo re-imposed virus restrictions on schools, businesses and places of worship in and around areas that have seen some increases.