By: Brooke Pitcoff
As Covid-19 cases decrease and vaccine rollout continues, Long Island continues to reopen. Places we all love, such as museums, sports stadiums, arenas, restaurants, and parks will soon be available to us in a similar capacity that we were used to pre-Covid. Long Island favorites have been increasing capacity and will begin to function as they did in 2020. As Governor Cuomo eases restrictions, Long Island will start to look like it is returning to normalcy.
Recently, capacity at certain New York favorites has increased. The capacity for restaurants can be as much as 75% on Long Island, and 50% in NYC. In both cases, they are now able to stay open until midnight, a change from the recents mandates of 11pm and 10pm. This will ease covid consequences on restaurants and will help to increase revenue. Some businesses on Long Island have recently been allowed to reopen for the first time since March of 2020. One business is indoor, and outdoor, entertainment centers that have been severely struggling in the pandemic. These centers are allowed to reopen at 25% capacity. While this is great news, it is too late and too little for many businesses. Long Island’s BounceU of Farmingdale, for example, has been permanently closed. Outdoor amusement parks are also very excited about the restrictions easing up and have since reopened with a few new protocols in place to ensure that their attendees not only have fun, but also stay safe. Perhaps the most notable of these is Adventureland in Farmingdale. With a reservation system in place and reduced capacity, this beloved family amusement park has had a successful first few weeks back in business.
In addition to entertainment venues, sports are extremely important to many Long Island families which is why the reopening of sports arenas made headlines. In February of this year, Cuomo allowed venues to reopen at a 10% capacity and attendees must provide either proof of vaccination or a recent, negative Covid test. Venues that have reopened successfully include the Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden. However, some stadiums such as Long Island’s own Nassau Coliseum struggled to keep their doors open. The Nassau Coliseum closed indefinitely in June of 2020. The venue is now being used as a Covid-19 vaccination center.
As businesses begin to reopen on Long island, life will start to look like it is returning to normalcy. However, we are far from it. All businesses still require masks to be worn upon entry. Temperature checks and hand sanitizer have become a common procedure when entering some Long Island businesses. Stadiums and arenas have policies of a negative covid test or vaccination card being shown upon entry. Although opening New York has many benefits, it is important to keep Covid cases on Long Island low by continuing to follow required mandates and guidelines.
Photo courtesy of abc7news.com.