New York museums, zoos and movie theaters can welcome back more customers starting next week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday as COVID-19 positivity rates continued to trend downward.
Beginning April 26, museums and zoos can increase capacity to 50% and movie theaters can increase to 33%, the governor said.
Additionally, large indoor arenas can raise capacity to 25% on May 19, ahead of the NBA playoffs.
Bar and restaurant owners were also seeing some relief on Monday, as the state’s 11 p.m. curfew was pushed back to midnight.
Owners had pleaded for the curfew to be lifted, saying that pandemic restrictions were hurting business. Steve Olsen, the owner of the West Bank Café, told PIX11 News on Sunday moving the curfew back an hour was still a "step in the right direction."
"We have partitions, filters, masks. Most of our customers are vaccinated. We’re excited about the city opening," he said.
The loosened restrictions come as the state reported the lowest seven-day average of positive COVID cases since before the holiday season surge, Cuomo said. The seven-day average on Monday was 2.85% -- the lowest positivity rate since Nov. 13.
Meanwhile, the state continued to ramp up its vaccination efforts. More than 5.6 million New Yorkers were fully vaccinated, as of Monday morning.
New York residents 16 and older are eligible to get the COVID vaccine.
PIX11's Magee Hickey contributed to this report.