People ride a tandem bike with face masks along the Coney Island boardwalk in Brooklyn, New York, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, May 4, 2020.
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
New York is forging ahead with reopening more businesses amid a post-holiday decline in Covid-19 cases, but the state’s keeping “one eye” on troublesome variants of the virus that could reverse its progress.
Indoor family entertainment centers, like arcades, trampoline parks or laser tag facilities, will be allowed to reopen starting March 26 at 25% capacity with additional precautions, like social distancing, mask wearing and frequent cleaning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.
Outdoor amusement parks can reopen on April 9 at 33% capacity with similar requirements, and parents can plan for overnight summer camps to return at some point in June, the Democratic governor said on a call with reporters.
Cuomo has gradually started to lift more restrictions on businesses in recent weeks as the state rolls out more doses of Covid-19 vaccines and cases continue to decline from a post-holiday surge.
The state is reporting a weekly average of 7,949 Covid cases per day, a more than 8% decline compared with a week ago and the lowest figure since the beginning of December, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Last week, Cuomo said large stadiums and arenas in New York will reopen at the end of February with required testing beforehand, a strategy where the state “wants to lead the way.” Over the weekend, New York City restaurants were allowed to reopen their indoor dining sections at 25% capacity.
However, new and highly contagious Covid-19 variants could reverse New York’s progress or hinder its planned reopenings. The governor said the state has now identified 82 Covid-19 cases with the variant first identified in the United Kingdom in December, known as B.1.1.7., with an additional 12 cases added since Saturday. He said most of those new cases were found in the New York City area.
This is developing news. Please check back later for updates.