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New York to lift most COVID-19 restrictions upon key vaccination landmark

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-06-08 09:05
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A commuter receives a shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the opening of MTA's public vaccination program at a subway station in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, US, May 12, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK - New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday said that most of existing COVID-19 restrictions in the state would be lifted once 70 percent of New Yorkers receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Industry specific guidelines covering capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact information for tracing will become optional for retail, food services, offices, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and personal care services, among other commercial settings, according to Cuomo.

This means the above-mentioned business sectors could have greater flexibility in accommodating their customers around one month later.

As much as 66.3 percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older have at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday, up from 60 percent reached on May 8, according to the state government.

Still, the number of vaccine doses administered each day has dropped from 168,958 reported on May 8 to 58,807 on Monday as most willing New Yorkers have got vaccinated.

However, large-scale event venues, pre-K to 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and healthcare settings must continue to follow the current guidelines until more New Yorkers are vaccinated, according to the plan.

Cuomo added that unvaccinated individuals will still be responsible for maintaining proper social distance of six feet and wearing a mask as per guidance by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The United States aims to have 70 percent of adults receiving at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine by early July with 14 states and territories already achieving the goal but many others unlikely to make it on time or at all.

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