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Long Island Expected to Reopen as Early as Next Week, Governor Says

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According to the mayor, New York City is on track to start reopening in early June

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to members of the media at a news conference on May 21, 2020 in New York City.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a recent press conference
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

Nearby sections of downstate New York like Long Island are cautiously moving towards an economic reopening next week, as New York City remains on track to start opening back up in early June.

After giving the green light to multiple upstate regions across New York to begin the phased reopening process earlier this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed in a press conference on Friday that Long Island and the mid-Hudson region were on track to start reopening lower risk industries soon. Construction is allowed to start staging this week.

“If the number of deaths continues to decline the way that it has, and they get their tracing online, both regions could open,” Cuomo said at the press briefing.

According to the phased reopening plan, the two regions would be able to restart low-risk businesses like construction next week, part of phase one of the state’s reopening. Restaurants, a higher-risk industry for the public, can’t reopen their dining rooms until the region moves into the third phase of reopening. At least two weeks have to pass between each phase before a region can move safely into additional industry reopenings.

In NYC, Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed at a press conference on May 22 that an early June timeline was possible to start the city’s phased reopening, as long as the seven daily indicators tracking the spread of COVID-19 remain in the delineated safe ranges.

“If people stick to the guidance, stick to the plans, we will move to phase one in either the first or second week of June,” de Blasio said. “That is where all of our indicators are pointing.”

Some restaurants in the city offering takeout and delivery have struggled to maintain social distancing guidelines among customers while more New Yorkers venture outside during the recent warm weather. Local legislators and industry trade groups like the NYC Hospitality Alliance have called for action on an expanded outdoor dining plan to allow restaurants and bars to safely operate outside this summer while the city’s economy slowly reopens.

If the phase one reopening starts to occur in early June, the earliest that restaurants would be able to start reopening to dine-in customers would be sometime in July, according to the state’s reopening guidance.