New York’s governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, announced during a press conference earlier today that the state’s arts, entertainment, and events venues will be allowed to reopen at 33% capacity starting April 2, The New York Times reports. Capacity for indoor events will be limited to 100 people; outdoor events can have 200 attendees. If a venue is able to administer COVID-19 tests to all attendees, that limit is increased to 150 people for indoors and 500 for outdoors.
The economic realities of holding shows with such audience limits mean that not all venues will reopen in April, even if they are legally allowed to do so. Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge owner Michael Swier said to The Times that social distancing requirements mean that shows held at those two venues would be capped at “an approximate 20 percent capacity, which is untenable.”