NYC has entered Phase 1 of reopening, which means that only a small section of businesses (like construction and manufacturing) are able to open, and social distancing regulations are still in effect. But it seems the rest of the city has missed the memo.
According to photos and videos making the rounds on social media, neighborhoods—across Manhattan primarily—were filled with New Yorkers, crowded around bars and restaurants like a typical summer day. Many were drinking to-go cocktails in the streets as if open container laws weren’t in effect.
This was on the Upper West Side:
It also seems that some restaurants have already started outdoor seating, which isn’t technically allowed until Phase 2 (which the city is predicted to reach June 22). This is in Astoria, Queens:
On Saturday, videos circulated of streets and sidewalks overflowing with patrons on St. Marks Place, which seemed to be one of the main problem areas. Governor Cuomo Tweeted “Don’t make me come down there.”
Don't make me come down there… https://t.co/OeVGMW7LEO
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 13, 2020
Others likened it to a “Spring Break” atmosphere. You can clearly see that social distancing is not maintained and many people are not wearing face masks.
— Nancy Preston (@nancypontz) June 13, 2020
— Jon Hochstat (@JHochstat) June 13, 2020
The West Village was no exception:
Everybody’s talking about the East Village. This was West Village last evening. Hipsters think they’re invincible…and unaccountable. pic.twitter.com/4E7iz8Yuqn
— HRH Aurora of NYC (@HRHAuroraofNYC) June 13, 2020
Then, on Sunday (6/14), the Governor said that his department received 25,000 reopening violation complaints, and reminded that there can be ramifications. Bars and restaurants can lose their liquor licenses, and people with open containers on the streets can be fined.
We have received 25,000 complaints of reopening violations.
Bars or restaurants that violate the law can lose their liquor license.
People with open containers in the street can be fined.
Police & protesters not wearing masks can be fined.
Local gov't must enforce the law.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 14, 2020
“The violation complaints are predominantly from Manhattan & the Hamptons,” he said. “Lots of violations of social distancing, parties in the street, restaurants and bars ignoring laws. Enforce the law or there will be state action.”
featured image source: Instagram / @eunicej127