New York is releasing guidelines for graduation ceremonies by schools, colleges and universities.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says effective May 1, indoor and outdoor graduation and commencement ceremonies will be allowed with limited attendee capacity, depending on the event size and the location.

Cuomo says large outdoor venues can host people at 20-percent capacity, while attendees must have proof of a negative COVID test, or vaccination.

Capacity can increase for smaller groups, while the state is still recommending virtual or drive-in ceremonies when possible.

Here are the requirements:

Outdoor Events:

  • Large-scale ceremonies of over 500 people at outdoor venues will be limited to 20 percent of capacity, applicable to venues with a total capacity of 2,500 or more.
  • Medium-scale ceremonies of 201-500 people at outdoor venues will be limited to 33 percent of capacity.
  • Small-scale ceremonies of up to 200 people or 2 attendees per student at outdoor venues will be limited to 50 percent of capacity. Proof of recent negative test result or proof of completed immunization is optional.

 Indoor Events:

  • Large-scale ceremonies of over 150 people at indoor venues will be limited to 10 percent of capacity, applicable to venues with a total capacity of 1,500 or more.
  • Medium-scale ceremonies of 101-150 people at indoor venues will be limited to 33 percent of capacity.
  • Small-scale ceremonies of up to 100 people or 2 attendees per student at indoor venues will be limited to 50 percent of capacity. Proof of recent negative test result or proof of completed immunization is optional.

"We're once again approaching the end of the academic year which means we need strict rules in place to ensure commencement ceremonies are done safely in the context of the ongoing pandemic," Cuomo said. "With more people getting vaccinated every day, we are so close to the light at the end of the tunnel, but we all need to continue being vigilant and I am urging everyone to celebrate smart."

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