Last night New York celebrated with fireworks the lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions — after the state passed the threshold of 70 percent of adults receiving the vaccine.

New York celebrates the lifting of COVID restrictions with fireworks. Photo: Gary Hershorn.

“472 days ago, it was impossible to fathom that 70 percent of New York’s adults would have received their first COVID vaccination by this point. What felt years away has been accomplished in less than one,” said Governor Cuomo as he made the announcement. “We went from worst to first!”

Firework shows filled the skies across New York State to recognize the milestone and to recognize the role of essential workers in the pandemic. At 9:15pm last night, New York Harbor was lit up by the display.

Landmarks around the city glowed in the blue and gold state colors, including the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge, Kosciuszko Bridge, Grand Central Terminal’s Pershing Square Viaduct and the East End Gateway at Penn Station.

New York’s skyline lit in the blue and gold New York State colors. Photo: Gino Hawley.

With immediate effect, social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact information for tracing are now optional for retail, food services, offices, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and personal care services.

Unvaccinated individuals continue to be responsible for wearing masks. The State’s health guidelines continue to be in place for large-scale indoor event venues, pre-K to grade 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and health care settings, per CDC guidelines.

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