STATEN ISLAND, NY – After New York City was shut down in March in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Big Apple has slowly started to reopen in phases – phase 4 is expected to begin on Monday.
New Yorkers will see low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment, professional sporting events without fans, and film and television productions will resume as part of this next phase. Phase 4 also allows schools to reopen in accordance with state guidelines.
“New York will enter phase 4 on Monday. This is a hallmark for us because every region of the state will now be in phase 4, ”Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “We feel very good about what we have done and I applaud all New Yorkers.”
The process of reopening the city is part of a statewide plan that Cuomo announced in early May. It consists of four phases, and in each phase different restrictions are lifted if a region qualifies. ”
*** CLICK HERE FOR FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE IN NEW YORK ***.
Here’s what you need to know about phase 4 in New York.
WHAT IS REOPENING?
Zoos and botanical gardens will be allowed to reopen at 33% capacity with various security protocols in place, such as social distancing, mandatory face covers, and enhanced sanitation efforts.
All instructions must be clearly communicated to employees before or upon their return to work.
Although zoos are allowed to reopen on Monday, the Staten Island Zoo in West Brighton will not reopen until July 25 and 26 for members and then July 27 for the general public, according to Ken Mitchell, zoo executive. Staten Island. .
WHAT DOES NOT REOPEN
Other industries that were originally scheduled to open by the start of Phase 4, such as shopping malls, museums and indoor restaurants, will remain closed amid lingering concerns over coronaviruses. Gyms, cinemas and other indoor leisure activities will also remain closed.
Staten Island Mall management said it was disappointing to hear that the New Springville mall will not be able to open early in Phase 4, despite months of preparation – including new air filters, increased signage , reduced hours, hand sanitizer dispensers and the ability to sit outside.
“It’s very disappointing,” said James Easley, senior manager of the mall. “I cannot question the expertise of the leaders of our state. But I did everything we were asked to do and I don’t understand. But they [the state] has more information and data than I do. … Now it’s undefined. We don’t know when we can open.
DINNER INSIDE DEFINEDLY DELAYED
Indoor dining – originally scheduled to start with 50% capacity in Phase 3 – has been delayed indefinitely in New York.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would work with the state to determine when the city could move forward with indoor dining as the Big Apple continues its open restaurant initiative.
New York City restaurants reopened for alfresco dining on June 22, a move the mayor said was largely successful. And Friday, de Blasio extended the program of restaurants open until October 31.
But restaurants that don’t follow social distancing rules will suffer the consequences, Cuomo said this week. And state requirements mean that customers must buy food with alcohol.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER?
Phase 4 was originally billed as the final reopening phase for New York areas, but with many indoor spaces remaining closed in New York, officials are now expected to monitor coronavirus trends in the coming weeks to help them determine when it is safe to reopen. businesses, such as shopping malls and restaurants.
“We have to find a balance, and we have time to look at the evidence, to look at what’s going on in the country, to look at what’s going on here in this city and to make new decisions on some of these pieces and we’ll do that very carefully with New York State, ”de Blasio said on Friday.
FOLLOW TRACEY PORPORA ON FACEBOOK and TWITTER