New York Museums, Bowling Alleys Allowed to Reopen Soon, Gyms May Be Next

Updated: 2020-08-15 02:30:03

Museums, bowling alleys will soon be allowed to reopen, and reopening protocols on gyms will be announced on Aug. 17, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday.

Museums, bowling alleys and gyms were among the indoor venues deemed as non-essential businesses and were ordered closed since late March in efforts to curb the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus. And while all areas of New York state have entered the least restrictive phase of the state’s reopening plan, phase 4, these venues were still held back from reopening, until now.

New York State has recorded more than 25,200 CCP-virus positive deaths. Cuomo told reporters at a news conference on Friday that less than 1 percent of tests in the state came back positive in the past week despite a large number of tests.

“Given the results that we have and the progress that we’ve made, we’re going to make some more changes and adjustments,” Cuomo said.

Bowling alleys can reopen at 50 percent capacity starting on Aug. 17 throughout the state, although with strict safety protocols such as mandatory face coverings and social distancing, Cuomo announced.

Other protocols include having every other lane closed with visitors allowed to stay only at their assigned lane, and cleaning and disinfection of shared equipment between each use. Food and drinks will not be allowed in the bowling alleys in New York City, which still currently forbids indoor dining, unlike the rest of the state where restaurants are allowed to take in guests at a reduced capacity.

New York City museums, aquariums and other low-risk indoor cultural arts centers can reopen starting Aug. 24 with a 25 percent capacity. These venues must enforce safety protocols such as having timed ticketing with pre-set, staggered entry, and control traffic flow to avoid crowding, alongside mandating face masks, social distancing, and having cleaning and disinfection protocols.

“New York City’s world-class cultural institutions have long provided comfort and creativity for generations of people in one of the world’s most vibrant places, and when the COVID-19 pandemic began to threaten the city and this nation, it was especially heartbreaking to see them close their doors,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“This pandemic is far from over, but we’ve determined that institutions can reopen if they adhere to strict state guidance and take every precaution to keep visitors safe, and I look forward to seeing them inspire New Yorkers once again.”

New York state will release protocols for the reopening of gyms and fitness centers on Aug. 17. This comes after 1,500 gym owners filed a class action lawsuit against the state, calling for gyms to be reopened immediately, and requesting compensation for lost revenue over the past months of closure. Other lawsuits have been filed challenging the closure of gyms in the state.

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