Background image of Brooklyn Bridge. Text reads the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, Supporting New York City's Creative Economy
Dear Friends,

Last week I received my second COVID-19 vaccination. While I didn’t get my cute sticker saying #IGottheShotNYC, I did get a feeling of gratitude for the privilege, a sense of relief knowing that I had done my part to protect my family and my community, and a glimmer of hope for our recovery and reopening.

If you haven’t already, please get vaccinated. It’s never been easier, and we have dedicated vaccines for people in our performing arts, film and television, and hospitality industries: 
•   The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) is proud to partner with The Actors Fund to assist members of the performing arts and film/tv community who are either working, living, or attending school in New York City in scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments at The ATC Broadway Vaccination Site (ATC Vaccination Times Square, located at 47th Street & 7th Avenue). To schedule an appointment, please call 917-281-5937 or email with your name and phone number to speak with someone who can help you. And when you get your vaccine, let us know on social media using #BwayVax

•   New York City’s mobile vaccination effort is back, taking vaccines on the road with a focus on reaching restaurant and delivery workers and people 50 years and older. You can make an appointment (see below), and walk ups are allowed with availability. Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants (ROAR) continues to lead outreach efforts to schedule appointments for restaurant workers and restaurant delivery workers. Vans will have live interpretation on site and multilingual vaccine materials. Restaurant and delivery workers can schedule appointments by emailing, or by calling 1-833-ROAR-NYC (1-833-762-7692).

•    Everyone 16 years and older is now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. New Yorkers can get their COVID-19 vaccines by appointment at vaccine sites throughout New York City at or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692), or without an appointment at select sites across NYC:

New COVID variants serve as an important reminder to keep doing what we know works: wear a mask, socially distance, avoid nonessential travel, and get tested. You can find testing locations near you and check a list of wait times here. The Health Department now recommends people over the age of two-years-old wear snug fitting masks with two or three layers of material to better prevent unfiltered air from passing through. Alternatively, New Yorkers may wear two masks, with a cloth face covering over a disposable mask.

The New York State Department of Health updated the COVID-19 Travel Advisory so that as of April 10, asymptomatic travelers entering New York State from another country, U.S. state, or territory are no longer required to test or quarantine. Quarantine, consistent with the CDC recommendations, is still recommended for all travelers who are not fully vaccinated or have not recovered from laboratory confirmed COVID-19 during the previous three months. Symptomatic travelers must immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare providers to determine if they should seek COVID-19 testing.

All travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form unless the traveler had left New York for less than 24 hours or is coming to New York from a contiguous state. Contiguous states to New York are Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. 
Other ways to stay connected:

         •     Health Department Community Conversations:
         •     Health Department Vaccine Train the Trainer (regular weekly sessions open to the public):
         •     Health Department Newsletter Sign-up:

As of April 19, state curfews for restaurants and catered events have been relaxed. Food and beverage establishments must cease all on-premises service and consumption of food and beverages (including alcohol), inside or outside, by midnight under NYS Executive Order 202.102. SLA-licensed establishments should visit the State Liquor Authority website for additional guidance about closing times.  For catered events that qualify under the NYS DOH Interim Guidance for Food Services (In-Person and Catered Events section), all patrons must exit at or before 1am.

Starting April 26, audience capacity limits for movie theaters will increase from 25% to 33%, subject to the NYS DOH Interim Guidance for Movie Theaters.

Starting April 26, capacity limits will increase to 50% for museums, aquariums, zoos, botanical gardens, and other places covered by the NYS DOH Interim Guidance on Low-Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment or the NYS DOH Interim Guidance on Low-Risk Indoor Arts and Entertainment.

Starting May 19, capacity limits for large performing arts and sport venues will increase to 25%. Until May 19, capacity is capped at 20% for outdoor venues with 2,500+ capacity, and 10% for indoor venues with 1,500+ capacity. Proof of a negative Covid-19 test or immunization is required for all attendees. Social distancing and face coverings are required for all attendees, as well as strict adherence to all applicable NYS Department of Health guidance. NYS Department of Health’s Interim Guidance for Large Scale Performing Arts and Entertainment Venues during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency is available on the New York Forward Phase 4 webpage.

Small and medium performances and live entertainment events are allowed to reopen. Indoor venues with a capacity of less than 1,500 attendees can reopen at 33% capacity up to 100 people or 150 people with proof of a negative Covid-19 test or immunization from all attendees. Outdoor venues with a capacity of less than 2,500 attendees can reopen at 33% capacity, with up to 200 people or 500 people with proof of a negative Covid-19 test or immunization from all attendees. Social distancing and face coverings will be required for all attendees, as well as strict adherence to all applicable NYS Department of Health guidance. NYS Department of Health Interim Guidance for Small and Medium Scale Performing Arts and Entertainment during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency is available on the New York Forward Phase 4 webpage.

Required Local Health Department Notifications for Live Performance: If you wish to offer a live performance that exceeds the social gathering limit (but is within the limits established by the State for performances when the audience is COVID-19 tested or vaccinated) you must notify the New York City Health Department at least five days in advance. You can make the notification here

The deadline for applications to the
U.S. Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been extended to May 31. The program currently offers: 

         •      First Draw PPP Loans for first time program participants, and
         •      Second Draw PPP Loans for certain businesses who have previously received a PPP loan.

To connect New York City’s small business owners to federal relief funds, the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) has launched Fair Share NYC, offering free webinars, technical assistance and access to lenders to help businesses interested in applying for PPP loans. For more information, visit or call 888-SBS-4NYC.

Archive recordings of earlier Town Calls for NYC Arts, Entertainment, Hospitality and Nightlife businesses and workers presented by MOME and the Office of Nightlife about the latest federal loans and other assistance programs are available here:

         •       Town Call on Health Coverage for Workers

Recently, we have started to receive more inquiries about guidance for office reopening. Interim Guidance for Office-Based Work During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency can be found on the State’s NY Forward site. In addition, the NYC Department of Small Business Services is hosting a free 3-part webinar series “Back to the (Future) Workplace” starting April 27 to help businesses understand the current pandemic guidelines while adapting their offices for the future. More information is available here.

As the city reopens, ensuring everyone’s well-being is paramount. In partnership with our colleagues at NYC & Company, we are asking arts, entertainment and hospitality groups and their stakeholders to take the Stay Well Pledge to help the five boroughs reopen responsibly. Taking the Pledge means you agree to adhere to public health protocols and ask your patrons to do the same. We know it will take a community effort to help inspire confidence and educate the public about what we all are doing to ensure a safe and strong reopening. 

Last night the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the application portal for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (formerly Save Our Stages) will reopen on Saturday, April 24 at 12:30pm (EDT). Eligible operators of live venues, live performing arts organizations, museums and movie theatres, as well as live venue promoters, theatrical producers and talent representatives may apply for critical economic relief under this program. The SBA has not accepted any applications or distributed any funding during the temporary suspension of the application portal.

In preparation for the application portal reopening, the SBA recommends eligible applicants take the following actions:

        •    Register on the portal in advance. Applicants will need a smartphone and a multi-factor authenticator app to register and apply;
        •    Review the SVOG Frequently Asked Questions and Applicant User Guide; and
        •    Prepare required documentation, per the Application Checklist.   

For more information and to view applicant resources, visit the SVOG website. For SVOG application portal technical support such as a password reset, browser suggestions, or how to use the multi-factor authentication with an app and the QR code, applicants can call 1-800-659-2955 or, for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, 1-800-877-8339 and follow the prompts to SVOG assistance. The call center is open today from 8am to 8pm, and, starting Saturday, April 24, the center will be open 24 hours a day through Monday evening at 8pm.

Curtains Up NYC, a program partnership of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), offers free technical assistance to live-performance venues, businesses, and non-profit organizations applying for SVOG and other federal assistance to help them put forward the strongest application. Trained counselors are also available for virtual, one-on-one sessions. Information is available on the Curtains Up NYC webpage or 888-SBS-4NYC. 
Open Culture performances continue to roll out in neighborhoods across the city. The program, which runs through October 31, allows ticketed, socially distanced, outdoor performances at nearly 200 street locations throughout the five boroughs. MOME has launched a new NYC Open Culture Program Resources page on our website, which includes the following resources: 
•   Link to Open Culture Program guidelines on the NYC Street Activity Permit Office’s website

•   The Open Culture Roadmap: Tips for a Successful Performance in the Street for Open Culture participants with little to no experience mounting productions in New York City streets. The Roadmap includes tips for planning and preparation for Open Culture events, coordinating community relations, and examples of set ups of street performances. 

•   Links to best practices and protocols developed by live performance professionals.

•    A suite of graphics and sample posters for download by Open Culture participants to use at their events. Additional posters are available on the Department of Health website.

Commissioner’s Directive 11 is posted on the Film Permit website, which also includes links to New York State issued industry specific guidance for Media Production. 

We have an update from the state on who must tested on set. The production must ensure that employees, cast and crew members, whose job functions or roles involve close or proximate contact with cast members, have been tested for COVID-19 through a diagnostic test, prior to their participation in media production activities, and at least once per week thereafter, when on site or location. Testing is not required for such individuals that have completed the COVID-19 vaccination series plus 14 days; such individuals must provide proof of completion. MOME has updated its FAQ to reflect this change and others concerning live studio audience capacity and COVID-19 Zones. 

To assist productions with promoting safety protocols on set, the Film Office has produced a suite of graphics and posters available for download here. Please be sure to check frequently for updates and review the guidelines and FAQ before submitting permit applications. If you have questions after reading these guidance documents, please call the Film Office at (212) 489-6710. Please keep in mind that the Film Office is still operating remotely so please allow additional time for Film Permit processing.


The SBA released guidance in English and in Spanish for restaurants, bars, and similar places that serve food or drink that wish to apply for emergency federal assistance from the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund. A sample application form is available online here. The SBA’s application portal will be opened to the public in the coming weeks after training and a pilot period. For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize reviewing applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. 

Indoor dining is allowed to operate at 50% capacity in New York City, subject to strict state guidance, which can be found here. Guidance for Open Restaurants is posted on the DOT website and the Mayor’s Office of Counsel has updated its plain-language guidance for outdoor dining. Participants may submit questions about Open Restaurants to DOT at or call the SBS hotline at (888) SBS-4NYC. The Office of Nightlife also has made a suite of operational guidance materials and public informational posters and graphics available for download at

For the latest updates, sign up for MOME’s newsletter, follow our social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit our website at

Stay safe and NYC strong,

Anne del Castillo
Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment
Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment