Day 473 and it ends. COVID restrictions have been lifted in New York. Yesterday the governor’s office made the announcement as the state hit the 70% adult vaccination threshold. This means no more social distancing or capacity limits—at least as far as the state is concerned—for sports, malls, gyms, movie theaters, or camps. Health screening is done. So is contact tracing. Despite the many losses of these past 473 days, we expect the city to move to a more celebratory stance, and the latest slate of launches supports that:
The situation for city tourism is changing in a New York minute. The latest guidance from the Governor gives us extended bar and restaurant curfews, zoo and museum capacity expanded to 50%, and movie theaters up to 33%. Sports and large event capacity moves to 25% as of May 19th. The city’s COVID rate is the lowest its been in almost five months. In addition, there are plenty of green shoots on the reopening front, especially for culture:
On the national recovery front, restaurant sales spiked last month to return to 2019 levels. The most recent retail sales report suggests the U.S. will see its fastest growth since 1984. Since the first of the year, Google searches for hotels are up 92%. With each passing day, recovery draws closer.
We are again overflowing with reopening news, as vaccine eligibility further expands and the CDC greenlights travel for those who’ve got their shots. Live theatre, music, and comedy have returned at least in part—even Jerry Seinfeld is back. The mayor has promised public health resources to get Broadway open by September. You can finally put a premiere back on your calendar: Diana: The Musical has set its opening night for December 16th. Headlines like City Hospitality and Tourism Prepping Spring Awakening and For New York City, Glimmers of Hope and Signs of Revival are popping up all over. Payrolls boomed in March, much of it thanks to hospitality and leisure. On the reopening front, there is much to be excited about:
In conjunction with the waiving of quarantine requirements for vaccinated visitors, improving weather, and the potential return of international tourists by mid-May, expect to see the sidewalks busier than they’ve been in months. Already, the headlines are keeping pace…
On the reopening front, there is plenty to be excited about:
- The Hayden Planetarium reopens today.
- The Loeb Boathouse Central Park returns Monday, March 29th. (Rowboat rentals are back as well.)
- Circle Line relaunches April 1st.
- Resorts World New York City returns to full hours on April 5th.
- On April 5th, the 11pm curfew for casinos, movie theaters, bowling alleys, pool halls, and gyms will be lifted (it stays in place for bars and restaurants, although that will be reevaluated in late April).
As of April 1st, the Mets and Yankees are fair game for fans again. Starting next week, Knicks and Rangers fans can ease entry to the Garden with proof of vaccination, negative test, or a 30-minute on-site antigen testing option.
As much as it may feel like 2021 is picking up right where 2020 left off, we are already in a different world less than two weeks into the year. Disturbing as the violence last week was—and the threat of more to come—we have seen the resilience of our institutions. Vaccines are rolling out across New York City, with protection newly extended to those 65 and over and those with preexisting conditions. Financial markets are optimistic—and not just the stock market, the bond market is reflecting confidence as well. The interest in travel inspiration is at a pandemic-era high, with July being circled as the hottest travel month of the year. Already we are seeing headlines like “The COVID Vaccine Travel Booking Spree Is On.” A more unified federal government gives hope for necessary relief and top-level organization, accelerating our comeback.
This week Governor Cuomo has released plans for a New York Arts Revival. Drawing on the recent success of in-person attendance at a Bills playoff game, the strategy will involve easily accessed rapid testing, outdoor venues, new funding for artists, and pop up performances, slated to begin in less than a month. Stay safe for a few more weeks—good things are coming.
We’re All In on NYC’s comeback. That’s why we’re part of All In NYC: Neighborhood Getaways, featuring great offers across all five boroughs. There are hundreds of ways to save, plus a host of new health and safety protocols to help you confidently explore once more.
We are pleased to offer Stay Longer and Save More through March 2021. To redeem, please visit our booking page. See all the offers—and learn how to get up to $100 back as you explore—at nycgo.com/neighborhood-getaways.