Stay in Your Zone, New York Tells Dancers

Wedding receptions can resume next month in the state
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 27, 2021 3:20 PM CST
Stay in Your Zone, New York Tells Dancers
Florists prepare bouquets as people wait in a long line to enter the New York City Marriage Bureau on Valentine's Day.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

New York's new coronavirus-era dance rules aren't exactly Footloose strict, but don't plan on cutting loose and kicking off the Sunday shoes with just anybody. The state says that when wedding receptions resume next month, guests will be allowed to hit the dance floor only with members of their immediate party, household, or family seated at the same table. Even then, the rules say, dancers must wear face masks and stay within their own "dancing areas or zones"—spaces that should be at least 36 square feet in size and positioned at least 6 feet apart from other dance zones and tables. There's no switching dance zones, either, the AP reports.

Happy couples can still take a twirl for a ceremonial first dance, and other couples can join in, but they must all stay 6 feet apart. Live music performers and other entertainers are allowed, but if they're unmasked or playing a wind instrument, they must be separated from attendees by 12 feet or an appropriate physical barrier. Gov. Andrew Cuomo previously announced that weddings can begin again on March 15. Venues will be restricted to 50% of capacity, up to 150 guests, and all of them must be tested for coronavirus beforehand. They'll also have to provide contact information in case tracing is required later, per the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. Local health departments will have to approve each wedding reception beforehand. Only then can the fun begin. (One wedding reception led to a major coronavirus outbreak.)

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