Gov. Andrew Cuomo has given the green light for many athletes to start competing. Football players will have to wait.

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On Monday, Cuomo announced lower-risk, school-sponsored sports in all regions may start practicing and play beginning September 21. However, travel for practice or play will be prohibited outside of the school's region or contiguous regions or counties until October 19. For the fall sports season, lower- and moderate-risk sports include tennis, soccer, cross country, field hockey and swimming, officials say.

"The State has done a lot of research on how we can safely have our students participate in school sports and get the exercise they need, and the guidance we developed will allow lower-risk sports to begin practicing and playing next month," Cuomo said. "We are approaching youth sports as we have approached everything else in our phased reopening - teams are not allowed to compete outside a school's region or contiguous region for the time being until we can gauge the effects."

Higher-risk sports, including those with full physical contact, may begin to practice on September 21 but cannot play until a later date or December 31, Cuomo added.

In accordance with the Department of Health's guidance for sports and recreation during the COVID-19 public health emergency, practices for higher-risk sports are limited to individual or group, no- to low-contact training. Higher-risk sports include football, wrestling, rugby, hockey and volleyball.

Schools must follow the Department's guidance for the conduct of their school sports. Schools will have to limit the capacity of indoor facilities to no more than 50 percent occupancy and limit spectators to no more than two spectators per player, in addition to implementing social distancing and face coverings.

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