New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is not following the lead of states such as Florida and Texas and is instead opting to keep weighty restrictions intact across the Empire State, continuing to limit indoor residential gatherings to ten people and allowing event and arts venues to reopen at 33 percent capacity, he reiterated on Thursday.
“Starting April 2, event & arts venues can reopen at 33% capacity, up to 100 people indoors, 200 outdoors. If all attendees present proof of a negative COVID test, indoor capacity can go up to 150 people indoors, 500 outdoors,” Cuomo announced, emphasizing that both social distancing and masks will still be required. Residential indoor gatherings, however, will still be limited to ten people.
“Updated guidance on gatherings: Starting March 22, residential gatherings of up to 25 people can be held outdoors. Indoor gatherings remain limited to 10 people,” Cuomo announced. “Non-residential gatherings can be held at 100 people indoors, 200 people outdoors”:
Starting April 2, event & arts venues can reopen at 33% capacity, up to 100 people indoors, 200 outdoors.
If all attendees present proof of a negative COVID test, indoor capacity can go up to 150 people indoors, 500 outdoors.
Social distancing & mask wearing is still required.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 4, 2021
Cuomo’s refusal to lift drastic restrictions in his state comes as red states, such as Florida and Texas, open their states for business.
“It is time for Texas to be open 100 percent,” Gov Greg Abbott (R) announced this week, also announcing the end of the statewide mask mandate, which had been in place since July.
“Everybody that wants a job should be able to get a job. Every business that wants to be open should be open,” he said.
President Biden sharply criticized the decision, accusing Abbott of engaging in “Neanderthal” thinking.
“The last thing — the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that, in the meantime, everything is fine, take off your mask,” Biden said. White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended his remark on Thursday.
“How does comparing someone to a Neanderthal help convince them to change course and get on board with your public health message?” a reporter asked, prompting Psaki to emphasize the word “behavior.”
“The behavior of a Neanderthal, just to be very clear,” Psaki said. “The behavior of.”
Florida has also remained open under Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) leadership and has continued to fare better than blue states, such as New York, particularly in terms of the seven-day average of new coronavirus cases, as Breitbart News reported.
“There are not a whole lot of Floridians who are itching to move from Florida to lockdown states, but there are thousands and thousands of people who are seeking to leave the lockdowns behind for the greener pastures in Florida,” DeSantis said during his State of the State address.
We have long been known as the Sunshine State – but, given the unprecedented lockdowns we have witnessed in other states, I think the Florida sun now serves as a beacon of light to those who yearn for freedom,” the Republican governor added.