Brokers returned to the New York Stock Exchange trading floor for the first time in two months on Tuesday, marking the end of a two-month dark period for the typically raucous room.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo rang the opening bell Tuesday morning, becoming the first person to do so in-person since March 20.
Capacity on the floor was limited to one-fourth the typical number of traders. All brokers were required to wear a mask, and plexiglass shields were installed to ensure proper social distancing.
"Today marks the reopening of the Trading Floor," the NYSE tweeted on Monday. "Our reopening protocols were developed with state and federal officials, as well as public health experts. We are beginning cautiously with fewer traders, and those that are on the floor are wearing masks and keeping a safe distance."
Tuesday marked the first time since March 20 that brokers have conducted business in-person on the NYSE floor. Though the market never closed throughout the pandemic, trading has been done exclusively online since then.
At the time the NYSE closed its trading floor, markets had hit its lowest points in nearly three years. However, due to optimism regarding states easing COVID-19-related lockdown restrictions and promising reports of vaccine development, markets have surged in recent weeks — despite the highest unemployment levels in modern history.