A man reads amongst a row of benches closed off to promote social distancing at Long Beach on the first day that New York beaches were opened ahead of the Memorial Day weekend following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Long Island, New York, U.S., May 22, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

As COVID-19 hospitalizations and fatalities continue to decline in Nassau and Suffolk counties, Long Island is preparing to hit phase two of reopening from the coronavirus shutdown on Wednesday.

Industries included in phase two are professional services, finance, retail, administrative support, real estate, and outdoor dining. Social distancing and wearing masks in crowded places will remain a priority.

“Phase two will jump start even more of our economy,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said Monday. “We need to get our businesses moving again.”

Much of upstate New York, which was less impacted by COVID-19 than the downstate regions, has already entered phase two, except for New York City, which entered phase one on Monday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said there will be two weeks between each of the four phases. 

The third phase of reopening includes personal care, such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, massage therapists, and spas. 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 the Island appears on track to reach on July 8. 

Reopening will include new rules. Stores are allowed to refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask. Barber shops and hair salons are included in phase two, but nail salons are not. Outdoor dining is allowed, but indoor dining will not resume until phase 3 and restaurants will be required to maintain 50-percent capacity. 

In other reopening news, summer camps were given the OK to resume on June 29, in-person special education instruction will be allowed to continue this summer ahead of schools fully reopening in phase four, and graduation ceremonies of up to 150 people will be allowed starting on June 26.

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

For more coronavirus coverage, visit longislandpress.com/coronavirus

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