New York will reopen stadiums with limited capacity

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo comments on coronavirus disease

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York State will allow major stadiums and arenas like Citi Field and Madison Square Garden to reopen for sports and concerts later this month, with capacity and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID- 19 are severely restricted.

Any stadium that can seat more than 10,000 people will be able to host 10% capacity events from Feb. 23, as long as the Department of Health approves its safety plans, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.

Brooklyn Barclays (LON 🙂 Center has already received approval for a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Sacramento Kings that day, Cuomo said.

Some venues, including Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, have already been used as mass vaccination sites. State officials said they would discuss with event organizers how to resume vaccination efforts once sports and concerts return.

The venues must enforce all COVID-19 prevention measures, such as mandatory wearing of face masks and social distancing, Cuomo said. Participants must prove within 72 hours before the start of the event that they have tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

In January, Cuomo allowed a limited number of viewers to play Buffalo Bill’s NFL playoff game, the first in 24 years.

It was the first time viewers have attended a professional sporting event in New York state since the coronavirus stalled sport in mid-March.

Approximately 6,700 fans attended the 72,000-seat game at Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, a suburb of Buffalo in western New York.

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