- 16 Jun 21
Irish eyes will be looking enviously across the Atlantic as America reopens. It's worth noting that 64.5% of US adults nationwide are at least partially vaccinated.
America's two most populous states, New York and California, have eased almost all of their restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it was announced yesterday.
Both states have had 70% of their adult population vaccinated with at least one dose, and have decided to allow bars and restaurants to serve customers without distancing measures.
Although masks are still advised indoors for those yet to be vaccinated, the reopening of cinemas marks one social aspect of life now returning to full capacity. Mask requirements in both California and New York remain in place for public transportation, in K-12 schools and in healthcare settings - in line with federal guidelines - and businesses can impose their own mask requirements and other restrictions.
Large gatherings in California of more than 5,000 people will also require attendees to provide proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test.
"We’ve administered over 40 million vaccines. Now...No more social distancing. No more capacity limits. No more colours or county tiers. And if you’re vaccinated - no more masks,” California Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted on Tuesday. “It’s a good day.”
Good morning California.
It’s reopening day.
We’ve administered over 40 million vaccines.
No more social distancing.
No more capacity limits.
No more colors or county tiers.
And if you’re vaccinated—no more masks.
It’s a good day.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 15, 2021
Some commentators have speculated that this speedy reopening compared to Europe may be due to the particular controversies the Governors of the two states are facing right now. Governor Cuomo of New York is currently under fire due to sexual misconduct claims from former employees of his, while California Governor Newsom is facing a recall campaign.
According to the New York Times, the 7-day average number of cases in New York is 453 as of June 13, with California on a slightly higher number: 917.
President Joe Biden has set a goal for 70% of U.S. adults nationwide to receive at least one dose by July 4; New York is now the 14th state to hit that target.
The Strokes recently played the first full-capacity gig in New York City as a fundraiser for mayoral candidate Maya Wiley, as she bids to be the first-ever female mayor of the Big Apple. Blood Orange's Dev Hynes and comedian John Mulaney joined the Grammy-winning rockers for the gig.
All attendees were required to provide a negative COVID test upon entry at what was otherwise a normal concert.
Foo Fighters have also been announced as the first act to play Madison Square Garden since March 2020. The Ohio outfit will perform in the legendary venue on June 20.