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New York, New Jersey, Florida, Connecticut Ease COVID Restrictions

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New York, New Jersey, Florida and Connecticut have eased most COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

The Governors of these states announced major reopening of the regions' businesses, venues and gatherings in the wake of significant progress made in vaccinations and sustained reduction in coronavirus infections and related hospitalizations.

Businesses will be allowed to operate without capacity limits by maintaining six feet of social distancing from May 19 in New York and New Jersey. This distance-based maximum capacity permission will apply across commercial settings, including retail, food services, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and other personal care services. It will also apply in houses of worship.

In New York beginning May 10, the outdoor social gathering limit will increase from 200 to 500 people. The indoor social gathering limit will increase from 100 to 250 people from May 19. Also, the outdoor residential gathering limit of 25 people will be removed, reverting to the limit of 500 people.

The indoor residential gathering limit will increase from 10 to 50 people. In New York, any event gatherings in excess of the social gathering limits may only occur if all individuals present proof of full vaccination status or recent negative COVID-19 test result.

Congregate commercial and social events in New York such as sports competitions, performing arts and live entertainment, and catered receptions can exceed the social gathering limits of 500 people outdoors or 250 people indoors by presenting proof of full vaccination status or recent negative COVID-19 test result

Starting May 19, large-scale indoor event venues will operate at 30 percent capacity, and large-scale outdoor event venues at 33 percent capacity.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced that all remaining business restrictions including those on capacity limits at large event venues in the state will be lifted on May 19.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an emergency executive order suspending all local COVID-19 restrictions.

DeSantis on Monday also signed a new law which says that during any emergency businesses should be free from government mandates to close, and schools should remain open for in-person instruction.

A major impact of the governor's emergency order will see Palm Beach County's face mask mandate lifted.

At a news conference in St. Peterburg on Monday, DeSantis said that local governments have overstepped their authority by putting restrictions on businesses and denying students in-person education.

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