Governor Andrew Cuomo declared in New York that COVID-19 restrictions on commercial and social settings will be lifted effective immediately. Firework displays were lit across the state on Tuesday evening.
According to a triumphant Cuomo on Tuesday, they have reached 70 percent inoculation. This means the state could "now return to life as we know it," reported ABC 7. Seventy percent was the threshold the New York governor stated would trigger the easing of most restrictions. The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) indicates 50.3% of New Yorker citizens are fully vaccinated.
Illuminating the Skies to Mark the Milestone
Firework displays illuminated the skies throughout the Empire State to mark the achievement and to praise essential workers. A large crowd burst into cheers in Lower Manhattan as dazzling bursts of yellows and reds erupted over the New York Harbor, reported New York Post.
With the threshold of vaccination reached, many state-sanctioned restrictions and pandemic-related activities have been lifted. This means that capacity restrictions, social gathering limits, cleaning and disinfection, social distancing, health screening, and contact information for tracing are now optional.
Cuomo said that COVID-19 was a difficult time New York was ready to move forward. He noted that since vaccination numbers were up and COVID-19 cases were down, restrictions in the state can be eased. Cuomo also said that incentives will be introduced to encourage further vaccinations, reported AMNY.
New York landmarks, including the Empire State Building, were lit blue and gold as fireworks were set off throughout the state. The governor remarked it was a momentous day in his announcement.
The governor also said that they wanted to show their appreciation towards essential workers. Again, he emphasized the need for vaccination so "you don't need the essential workers again," reported CBS New York.
The announcement was supposed to be a surprise. However, a number of local municipalities across the state posted information regarding them. For example, the Village of Nyack posted that a fireworks display will be held in Memorial Park at 9 PM as part of the festivities marking the end of coronavirus restrictions.
Cities that hosted firework displays included Lake Placid (Lake Placid Club), Binghamton (Binghamton University M Lot), Nyack (Memorial Park), New York City (New York Harbor), and Wantagh (Jones Beach State Park). In honor of reaching the milestone, these landmarks were also lit blue and gold: One World Trade Center, Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, Kosciuszko Bridge, State Education Building, The H. Carl McCall SUNY Building, State Fairgrounds - Main Gate and Expo Center, and Alfred E. Smith State Office Building. Even natural landmarks like the Niagara Falls and transportation hubs like Grand Central Terminal - Pershing Square Viaduct, The "Franklin D. Roosevelt" Mid-Hudson Bridge, MTA LIRR - East End Gateway at Penn Station, and Albany International Airport Gateway were lit up.