New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that venues with a capacity of 10,000 or more will be permitted to stage events with a limited number of spectators from February 23, paving the way for the state’s sports teams to welcome fans back.

The announcement comes on the back of a successful fan pilot programme involving the Buffalo Bills NFL American football team, which welcomed more than 6,000 spectators for its game against the Indianapolis Colts last month.

Venues and events in the state of New York will be required to follow similar guidelines to those in place for the Bills game. Department of Health approval will be required, with a 10% capacity limit to be put in place along with testing requirements, mandatory face coverings, temperature checks and socially distanced seating.

All staff and spectators at venues will be required to receive a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of the event. Fans’ contact information will also be collected to support contact tracing efforts.

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