Long Island is now the ninth of New York State's 10 regions to enter Phase 3 of reopening the economy as the state recovers from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Long Island has started the third phase in the four-phase reopening plan as of Wednesday, June 24, allowing more businesses to open.
Just New York City will remain in Phase 2, possibly entering Phase 3 in two weeks.
In Phase 3, limited indoor dining is permitted, as well as personal care service businesses such as nail salons and tattoo parlors, though there are restrictions in place and guidelines to follow.
- Earlier story - COVID-19: Here Are New Rules Restaurants Are Implementing For Indoor Dining In Phase 3
Before opening, businesses have to provide the state with a written safety plan, employees and patrons must wear face coverings, social distancing must be practiced, and there will be limits to buildings’ occupancies.
Sanitizing stations will be provided for workers, and there will be more stringent disinfectant rules in place for businesses.
Bars and restaurants will be limited to 50 percent capacity during Phase 3, and patrons sitting at the same table must be in the same party, which will be limited to 10 people total.
Tables -- indoors and outdoors -- will also be separated by six feet as per state-mandated social distancing rules.
Personal care businesses will also be limited at 50 percent capacity, with customers and stations separated by six feet.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also announced that in Phase 3, gatherings of up to 25 people will be permitted, up from 10 previously during the pandemic.
Though New Yorkers are beginning to settle into the “new normal,’ Cuomo cautioned that it’s important to continue reopening meticulously, otherwise New York faces the same pitfalls as other states that opened up and almost immediately saw a spike in cases.
“I know businesses are anxious to open up," he said. "Everyone is anxious to get the economy back open.
“But please follow the guidelines and do what is permissible to do. People are wary right now of businesses that are violating operating rules.
“Our reopening is different than (other states’) reopening. Ours is based on the numbers and is phased.
“New Yorkers have been smart and diligent and informed in this state. They know what’s going on and they know how to stop the spread.”
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