New Yorkers will not be able to enjoy big community gatherings this summer now that Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered the cancelation of large events that require city permits until Sept. 30.
Continue Reading Below
This includes street fairs and block parties that expand beyond one city block as well as a stage or video performances that require amplification and any other events that disrupt public parks or the city’s Open Streets and Open Restaurants program. Money paid from event holders who have obtained permits and received a subsequent denial will be refunded, according to a Thursday press release.
The decision was made as an effort to prioritize open spaces for public use as New York continues to grapple with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 32,280 people have died from complications with the respiratory virus in New York, according to data from Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard, which is the highest number of deaths out of all the 50 states.
"As New York has begun its reopening process, accessible open spaces are more important than ever," de Blasio said in a statement. "While it pains me to call off some of the city's beloved events, our focus now must be the prioritization of city space for public use and the continuation of social distancing."
Events that take up only one city block or smaller and don’t conflict with the Open Streets and Open Restaurants program can apply for a city permit. However, unlike pre-COVID times, applicants will be required to outline how they intend to curb the risk of coronavirus infection at their event. Details on how areas will be cleaned during and after the event will also need to be provided.
Religious events and press conferences will be exempt from de Blasio’s executive order.