Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced that he would allow outdoor dining at restaurants to open in phase 2 of reopening.
Restaurants and bars were initially set to open in phase 3, but after hearing from business owners and local officials, he moved the outdoor portion to phase 2.
Some safety requirements include: staff must wear masks, customers must wear them when not seated, and all tables must be six feet apart. Of course, with limited sidewalk space in NYC, for many restaurants that could amount to only two or three tables.
Still, the NYC City Council proposed a bill last week that would allow eateries to use streets and additional sidewalks and plazas for outdoor dining this summer without the long and complicated city approval process. This would allow more room for social distancing practices while eating, and also help restaurants more opportunity to make back lost business.
This means that other regions of New York that enter Phase 2 of reopening today, June 4 — including the Capital Region, Central NY, the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier — will be able to open outdoor dining immediately.
As of now, New York City is set to enter phase 1 of reopening on Monday, June 8. With two weeks in between to monitor stats, that means we could have outdoor dining available as soon as June 22.
featured image source: Unsplash