Long Island malls should reopen Wednesday as the region hits phase two of reopening from the coronavirus shutdown and not wait until phase four next month, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.
Curran said she is pressing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow malls to reopen a month earlier than New York State’s phased pandemic reopening plan currently allows. Under the current plan, malls are included in phase four, which LI is expected to reach on July 8.
“Our local malls … they are an anchor of our economy and they are ready to come back,” Curran told reporters Tuesday at a news conference outside her Mineola office. “We have seen a lot of people out of work. We know that malls employ thousands upon thousands of people.”
Enclosed shopping malls have been closed statewide since March 19 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But since phase two allows for the resumption of full retail, Curran argues that malls should open sooner rather than later.
She said the governor’s aides are reviewing her request. A Cuomo spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Malls had long been getting creative in how to maintain foot traffic amid the rise in online shopping. Coronavirus only made matters worse.
“I am concerned that some of our malls might not make to the other side of this pandemic,” Curran said.
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