New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that all capacity restrictions will be removed on businesses, including Broadway, starting May 19.
The reopening plan, which applies across the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, will lift restrictions on theaters, restaurants, museums, shops and Broadway, which was specifically mentioned. However, New York will still require businesses to enforce six feet of distance between patrons, which may not allow some venues to reach full capacity.
If all attendees are fully vaccinated or can show recent proof of a negative COVID-19 test, the distance requirement is waived.
However, Cuomo noted that Broadway in particular will likely wait due to the time it takes to remount productions.
“They may make their own economic decision as to when they reopen,” Cuomo said. “We’re talking about Broadway.”
Broadway leaders have said a reopening is likely to occur starting in September, and teased a forthcoming announcement. In recent weeks, the pace of work has picked up as producers and Broadway offices work to ready productions for that reopening date.
Indoors theaters in New York have been allowed to operate at 33% capacity since April 2. However, producers have said that Broadway productions cannot reopen until the capacity limit nears 100%.
“But from a capacity point of view they can all reopen on May 19th,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo, who has the ultimate authority over reopening Broadway and other businesses in the state, made the announcement days after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio set a goal of a “fully reopen” city on July 1. In his announcement, de Blasio noted that Broadway would likely still wait until September, but said he would like to see smaller theaters reopen before then.