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New York City restaurants will be able to reopen for outdoor dining by end of June

Just in time for summer, we can all expect more al fresco dining once again.

Written by
Bao Ong

Governor Andrew Cuomo gave New York City restaurants the green light to offer outdoor dining starting in Phase 2 of reopening, which means New Yorkers may be able to start dining al fresco as early as June 22—two days after the official start of summer. 

The announcement today is significant given the recent push for more outdoor dining as the city takes baby steps toward a Phase 1 opening on June 8th, at least for businesses deemed essential such as construction sites. Meanwhile, restaurants and bars are slated for a full reopening in Phase 3 but with two weeks between the implementation of each phase, that wouldn’t have taken place until after the Fourth of July.

Tomorrow, however, the following regions in New York state entering Phase 2 can start offering outdoor dining, given they’re complying with local ordinances: the Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier and Western New York regions.

The governor’s quiet announcement included guidelines such as the spacing of tables six-feet apart, requiring people to wear masks if they’re not seated and mandating all restaurant staff to don face coverings—such detailed requirements haven’t been announced yet for restaurants and bars expected to fully reopen with indoor seating (in the meantime, more and more businesses are offering takeout and delivery). 

Last week, the city council presented legislation to make it easier for restaurants to utilize sidewalks and streets for dining. There were even proposed plans on what more seating may look like across the city.

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