BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a sweeping end to most Covid restrictions, effective immediately, on Tuesday afternoon. Although he did not mention large outdoor concerts and Buffalo Bills games, they appear to have the green light to welcome ‘pre-Covid’ crowds.
When News 4 asked state officials the question directly, they referred us to the following press release which only makes mention of “large indoor events”;
The State’s COVID restrictions remain in effect for large-scale indoor event venues—now defined as indoor venues that hold more than 5,000 attendees. Consistent with the State’s implementation of the CDC guidelines, proof of vaccination can be used to eliminate social distancing and remove masks for fully vaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated or unknown vaccination status individuals who are over the age of four must continue to present proof of a recent negative diagnostic 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.
Cuomo said 70% of NY adults now have at least one shot. “So 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. Businesses can open because the state mandates are gone; social gathering restrictions, the capacity restrictions, the health screenings, the cleaning and disinfecting protocols.”
Large outdoor events, like the Erie County Fair, now have the option of allowing 100% capacity without vaccinations if organizers of the events choose. The Taste of Buffalo organizers tells News 4 that, since they have already begun selling pre-sale only tickets, they will stick with that format.
“The festivals, the Taste of Buffalo, all the things that we’ve had to put off because of the pandemic are now back on the schedule, so we’re encouraging people to talk to the organizers and make sure that it’s a safe experience,” said Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul.
Lt. Governor Hochul hopped aboard kayak in Medina signaling the start of free kayak tours on the Erie Canal. It’s the first time since February 23 that Buffalo TV reporters have had the chance to ask her a question.
When asked if she was concerned that there is no conclusion yet from the three investigations facing Governor Cuomo, she replied “These are very thorough investigations. We have three ongoing investigations, the attorney general, the Assembly Judiciary Committee and the Eastern District of NY, US Attorney’s Office. So these take time and my full expectation is they’ll be extremely thorough.”