NEW YORK – New York will start to allow outdoor dining at restaurants as soon as Thursday in much of the state outside of New York City and its suburbs as coronavirus restrictions ease, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.
Restaurants must place outdoor tables 6 feet (2 meters) apart, all staff must wear face coverings, and customers must also wear a covering when not seated, under the rules Cuomo announced in a news release.
The order applies to regions that have entered the second phase of Cuomo's four-step reopening plan, including the Capital region, western New York, central New York and the Finger Lakes.
The areas that will have to wait for outdoor dining include Long Island and the mid-Hudson Valley, which entered the first phase of reopening last week, and New York City, which is scheduled to enter the first phase next week.
Cuomo announced earlier that 49 additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported statewide Tuesday, a small fraction of the 700-plus daily deaths the state was recording during the height of the virus outbreak in April.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City buses and subways should look different when the city begins reopening next week, with hand sanitizer in stations and social distancing markers in place, but the agency that runs the buses and subways said some of the mayor's ideas are unrealistic.
“I want to see that everywhere you go, whether it is in a subway station, on the platform or on the train or on a bus, there are markings telling you exactly where to be,” de Blasio said at his daily briefing Wednesday.
Ridership on subways and buses is expected to increase when the city enters the first phase of the reopening process Monday.