TROY, NY (NEWS10 / WETM) – Several industries in New York will get the go-ahead to reopen as the state’s hospital stays and COVID-19 infection rates decline. On Monday, the state released new COVID-19 guidelines for billiards / pool halls and wedding venues.

Governor Cuomo’s 150-person wedding extension is frustrating the local wedding industry

From March 15, weddings and catering events can begin COVID-19 testing of all customers prior to the event. Venues are limited to 50% capacity with no more than 150 people attending the event. Participants must log in with contact information and masks at all times, except when they are sitting or eating / drinking.

Ceremonial and socially distant dancing is allowed under “strict guidelines”.

“They say, ‘Listen, if we can’t dance – I don’t care if we can have 300 people – we don’t want a wedding,” said Michael Fusco, president of Franklin Plaza.

Tracking Coronavirus Cases by County

The “no dance” rule was what Fusco called a deal breaker for brides. “We’re losing weddings by May and people get mad at me. And I know the governor says “blame me” and call him, but I’m the one who has to take all the calls, “said Fusco.

Anyone planning to host a major event must notify the local health department in advance. COVID testing can mean a high price to both the wedding reception and the organizer. Without insurance, a test can cost up to $ 139. The cost is something Franklin Plaza hopes won’t add further to the loss of events in its space. The wedding hall lost around 80% of its sales last year.

Billiard halls are still awaiting instructions on how to reopen the state

“Those 150, as everyone thinks, ‘Oh, that was great. Well. Congratulations, you are open! ‘We’re not open at all. It only made it worse. “

Pool / pool halls are reopening in New York starting March 5th, with 50% capacity outside of New York City and 35% capacity in New York City. Players must always wear a mask except when sitting and eating / drinking. Each party must be assigned a table where either physical barriers or mandatory social distancing are enforced. Staff must also “thoroughly clean and disinfect” any equipment they rent or share between games.

Governor Andrew Cuomo also announced that cinemas nationwide may reopen on March 5th with the following COVID-19 guidelines:

  • The capacity of the venues is limited to 25%, with no more than 50 people per screen.
  • Masks are required at all times except when you are sitting and eating or drinking.
  • Assigned seating is required in all theaters.
  • Social distancing between the parties is required at all times.
  • Additional staff is required to control occupancy, traffic and seating and to ensure compliance.
  • Improved air filtration, ventilation and cleaning standards must be adhered to by the theaters.
  • This action brings New York theaters in line with theaters in the rest of the state.

“From day one, we’ve been saying our COVID recovery isn’t a choice between public health and the economy – it has to be both – and in New York we’re showing how to do it safely and intelligently.” Governor Cuomo said. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all New Yorkers, our infection rate is now the lowest we’ve seen in three months and we are now reopening a variety of recreational activities across the state, including pool halls, weddings, and movie theaters in New York City. As our infection rate continues to fall and the vaccination rate continues to rise, we will continue to reopen various economic sectors of our state and focus our efforts on rebuilding our state better than before. “

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