Clarification from the SLA suggests these types of events have been prohibited since Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned large gatherings in March in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“This guidance is not new -- live entertainment activities, including all ticketed events, have been prohibited since New York went on PAUSE in mid-March to stop the spread of coronavirus," the SLA said in a statement provided to Billboard. "Thanks to New Yorkers’ hard work, we have achieved, and so far maintained, one of the lowest rates of infection in the country, but these high-risk gatherings would create exactly the situation we are trying to avoid, where people congregate, mingle, and create congestion at points of ingress and egress."
While bars have been allowed to reopen for indoor and outdoor dining in the current phase, patrons are still required wear face coverings and are only permitted to move from their seated areas for necessities such as going to the bathroom or entering/exiting. Dancing, bar games, karaoke and more are still prohibited at all establishments.
The crackdown also follows Cuomo's announcement that the state suspended the liquor license for an additional 16 bars after finding egregious violations of pandemic-related executive orders, bringing the total number of liquor licenses suspended during the coronavirus pandemic to 148.
"This week, after seeing an increase in establishments advertising ticketed events, the SLA clarified language on its website and proactively emailed all bars and restaurants to ensure they were aware of the months-old restrictions," the SLA statement continued. "New Yorkers need to remember we are still fighting a global pandemic -- and with dozens of states facing outbreaks, we must continue to take the threat of spreading COVID at mass gatherings seriously."
New York City is, meanwhile, operating under more severe restrictions. The city is currently in phase four of its reopening plan, which includes reopening for low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment events, media production and professional sports competitions with no fans. Indoor dining and arts and entertainment events are still prohibited.