Museums and aquariums will be allowed to reopen in New York City later this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday, as the state reopens additional indoor spaces after maintaining low coronavirus infection rates.
Museums and other indoor entertainment spaces were originally part of New York’s Phase 4 of reopening but were stalled in New York City as concerns over national coronavirus spikes prompted a slowdown from state leaders. Now, the governor says, they can reopen on August 24.
The American Museum of Natural History has been preparing to reopen door to visitors in early September. The museum said it hoped to open to the public on Sept. 9, and to members a week earlier on Sept. 2. The museum said it planned to be open five days, from Wednesday to Sunday, instead of the seven it had been before the pandemic force a shut down in mid-March.
According to the state, museums must keep capacity to no more than 25%. Visitors need to make advance online reservations for specific times. Staff must enforce the use of face coverings and control the traffic flow of museum-goers.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art also previously announced tentative reopening plans for August 29 if allowed by officials.
In addition to museums, Cuomo said bowling alleys in New York will be allowed to reopen Monday with specific modifications. Alleys must separate bowling parties by a lane and all food and drinks must be ordered and delivered to bowlers at their lanes to minimize movement. Occupancy must be capped at 50% and masks are required inside, Cuomo said Friday.
Guidance from state officials on gyms will come Monday, he said.
According to the governor, New York’s statewide infection rate has stayed below 1% for seven straight days.