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From 23 February stadiums and arenas in New York state will be able to re-open for reduced-capacity shows.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo said venues with a capacity of 10,000 or more can re-open to accommodate events with audience sizes limited to 10% of the usual maximum.

Other Covid mitigation measures incude the requirement that all event attendees submit a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of arriving at the venue. Social distancing will be maintained in all venues, the wearing of face coverings will be required and audience members will have their temperature checked on arrival. Meanwhile, indoor arenas will need to comply with enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards.

Cuomo said the guidelines were influenced by a pilot program conducted by the NFL team Buffalo Bills: “While we continue to fight Covid on multiple fronts, we must also get this economy re-opened intelligently and in a balanced way. Live sports and entertainment have long been engrained in the fabric of New York and the inability to hold events has only added to the isolation we have all felt at the hands of this virus.

“Thankfully, our pilot program to reopen Buffalo Bills games to fans was an unparalleled success and now we are taking that model and expanding it to other large venues across the state to not only reinvigorate local economies, but also help bring some fun and joy back into people’s lives as safely as possible.”