Beginning today, bowling alleys across the state can reopen, with other low-risk indoor activities and, yes, gyms following next week.
As of Monday, August 17, bowling alleys can finally begin reopening in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced. Other “low-risk” indoor activities — like museums, aquariums, and other cultural centers — will also be allowed to resume operation starting August 24.
“New York City’s world-class cultural institutions have long provided comfort and creativity for generations of people in one of the world’s most vibrant places,” says Cuomo, “and when the COVID-19 pandemic began to threaten the city and this nation, it was especially heartbreaking to see them close their doors.”
Like other reopened businesses and institutions, these facilities must maintain strict cleanliness and distancing guidelines, including facial covering and reduced indoor capacity. Bowling alleys will be required to close every other lane in addition to 50% indoor capacity, with patrons social distancing at all times. Food service will not be permitted. Cultural institutions will be restricted to 25% capacity and must implement timed ticketing with staggered entry times, along with the usual health and safety precautions.
In a move that many New Yorkers have been clamoring for, public gyms will finally be allowed to reopen as well, also starting Monday, August 24.
All gyms must be inspected by local authorities within 14 days or reopening, to confirm they meet strict health guidelines, including reduced 33% capacity and the same type of particle filtering HVAC systems used in reopened malls. Social distancing and mask use will also be required as elsewhere.
“This pandemic is far from over, but we’ve determined that institutions can reopen if they adhere to strict state guidance and take every precaution to keep visitors safe, and I look forward to seeing them inspire New Yorkers once again,” Cuomo says.