Cuomo: NY lifting capacity restrictions May 19

Dancing, smiling and maskless, dozens of New Yorkers met for a Zumba class this past weekend in Central Park, ditching their face coverings for the first time since the class started meeting in person last year - taking advantage of new CDC guidelines relaxing rules on masks outside for the fully vaccinated.

It was a sign of things to come.

While masks indoors are sticking around, on Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, will lift most capacity restrictions on businesses, including retail stores, food services and gyms on May 19, citing tremendous progress - stunning turnaround for what once was the epicenter of the crisis.

CUOMO: "Reopening is not a light switch. We said this since the beginning. It's not fully closed, the light switch or fully open, the light switch. It's a smart reopening. It's a measured reopening. It's a phased reopening. But we are at a point now where we are going to take a major step forward."

Capacity restrictions will also be lifted for amusement parks, salons and offices.

And the New York City subway will resume its 24-hour service.

The May 19 reopening preempts the plan New York Mayor Bill de Blasio outlined just days ago to re-open his city fully on July 1, noting 6.4 million doses of vaccine have been administered in the city of more than 8 million residents.

While the Mayor and the governor may clash over the details of re-opening, they agree on the direction, and New Yorkers are looking to the future.

Sol Alberione, who teches the Zumba class, says it's time to get out there.

ALBERIONE: "I don't think it's a preparation. I think you just have to stand up and do it. You've got to get out. Get yourself together, get yourself some energy, go outside and build one day at a time."

Video Transcript

- Dancing, smiling, and maskless, dozens of New Yorkers met for a Zumba class this past weekend in Central Park, ditching their face coverings for the first time since the class started meeting in person last year, taking advantage of new CDC guidelines relaxing rules on masks outside for the fully vaccinated. It was a sign of things to come.

While masks indoors are sticking around, on Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey will lift most capacity restrictions on businesses, including retail stores, food services, and gyms on May 19, citing tremendous progress. A stunning turnaround for what once was the epicenter of the crisis.

ANDREW CUOMO: Reopening is not a light switch. We said this from the beginning. It's not fully close the light switch, fully open the light switch. It's a smart reopening. It's a measured reopening. It's a phased reopening. But we are at a point now where we are going to take a major step forward.

- Capacity restrictions will also be lifted for amusement parks, salons, and offices. And the New York City subway will resume its 24 hour service. The May 19 reopening preempts the plan New York Mayor Bill de Blasio outlined just days ago to reopen his city fully on July 1, noting 6.4 million doses of vaccine have been administered in the city of more than 8 million residents. While the mayor and the governor may clash over the details of reopening, they agree on the direction, and New Yorkers are looking to the future.

Sol Alberione, who teaches the Zumba class, says it's time to get out there.

SOL ALBERIONE: I don't think it's a preparation. I think you just have to stand up and do it. You've got to get out. Get yourself together, get yourself some energy, go outside, and build one day at a time.