Cuomo said the move applies to theaters in areas that are below 2% on their 14-day average and have no cluster zones.
Cuomo said currently those areas include Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, as well as Westchester County.
New York City, Rockland County, and Orange County currently do not meet the thresholds, therefore theaters in those areas are not being allowed to reopen.
Masks will be required at all times except when patrons are seated and eating or drinking.
Assigned seating will be required in all theaters.
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Social distancing between parties will be required at all times.
Additional staffing is required to control occupancy, traffic, and seating to ensure compliance.
Theaters will be required to meet enhanced air filtration, ventilation, and purification standards.
This week, the Global Cinema Federation sent an open letter to Cuomo urging him to let theaters reopen, saying Hollywood studios may continue delaying their remaining 2020 releases if theaters remain closed.
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The group asked Cuomo to adopt a county-by-county plan for theater openings based on virus data, similar to what it said California Gov. Gavin Newsom has done.
Earlier this month, Cineworld, which owns Regal Cinemas, the second-largest movie theater chain in the U.S., announced it was temporarily closing all of its theaters because delays to the latest James Bond film left it with few blockbusters to attract customers during the pandemic.
Cuomo also announced that New York broke a new testing record Friday, with over 159,000 tests reported.
Just 1.11%, or 1,784, of those reported tests were positive.
That number includes the "red zone" focus areas where the test positivity rate was 4.34% Friday.
There are 929 patients in hospitals across New York receiving treatment for COVID-19.
The governor announced nine new deaths related to the virus.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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