Long Island “On Track” For Phase 2 of Reopening Next Week, Will Include Outdoor Dining

A worker hangs an “opening soon” sign in fron of Verace, an Italian restaurant in Islip, on May 13, 2020. Long Island Press photo.

Long Island is expected to hit phase two of reopening from the coronavirus shutdown next week, which will mean the return of professional services, finance, retail, administrative support, real estate — and now, outdoor dining. 

As Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said there will be two weeks between each of the four phases. Since LI hit phase one on May 27, Nassau and Suffolk counties are believed to reach the phase two milestone on June 10. Barber shops and hair salons are included in the professional services, but nail salons are not. And on Wednesday, the governor moved outdoor dining up from phase three to phase two — meaning patrons can once again enjoy outdoor dining next week, too.

“We are on track for next week phase two and we couldn’t be more ready for it,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran told reporters Wednesday during a news conference outside of her office in Mineola.

Most of New York State has begun reopening, except for New York City, an epicenter of the pandemic, which is expected to start phase one on June 8. Parts of upstate New York are already in phase two. All but essential services have been closed or required to telecommute statewide since mid-March.

The third phase of reopening includes hotels. If there is no spike in COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations between the phases, LI may reach phase three on June 24. The fourth and final phase includes education, recreation, and arts and entertainment, which may be on July 8. 

Officials have begun planning to temporarily close Main Streets in local downtowns on certain days to make room for outdoor dining with tables and chairs six feet apart to ensure those dining al fresco are able to stay far enough apart to avoid the spread of the virus.

“We are very happy to see this progress on outdoor dining moving forward,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told reporters Wednesday during his daily coronavirus conference call news briefing.

Related Story: Long Island Summer Camps Get OK To Open June 29

Related Story: Long Island Street Closures To Allow For Outdoor Dining

Related Story: How An Army of Contact Tracers Are Key To Long Island’s Reopening

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