Outdoor Dining Now Allowed Under Phase Two Reopening

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ALBANY – Outdoor dining at restaurants is now included in phase two of reopening in New York State.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the news Wednesday afternoon.

Cuomo says outdoor tables must be spaced six feet apart, all staff must wear face coverings and customers must also wear face coverings when not seated.

The Governor says restaurants in regions that have already entered phase two, which includes Western New York, can reopen for outdoor dining beginning tomorrow.

“COVID-19 is still a real threat and we’re still battling it. I know it’s not on the front pages today, but it is still in people and in society,” Governor Cuomo said. “But thanks to the people of New York and the nurses, doctors and essential workers, today we have the lowest number of hospitalizations ever and we have the lowest death toll ever.”

“We are continuously evaluating activities that can be safely reopened, and today we are adding outdoor seating at restaurants to phase two.”

Previously restaurants were limited to providing take-out or delivery services only.

“This is great news for our area restaurants and local businesses,” said PJ Wendel, Chautauqua County Executive. “Chautauqua County entered phase two reopening yesterday and today’s announcement brings us one more step forward to safely reopening our economy.”

“Not only will outdoor dining help our area restaurants who may have closed during the pandemic or been limited to takeout services, but it will help them make the transition from outdoor dining to full-service dining once we enter phase three,” furthered Wendel. “I encourage residents to support our local businesses while still practicing social distancing and taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Wendel also reminded phase two businesses that they must complete New York State’s guidance documents before they can reopen.

The Governor additionally announced that Erie County is now eligible to resume elective surgeries and ambulatory care.

He previously said that the state will allow elective outpatient treatments to resume in counties and hospitals without significant risk of COVID-19 surge in the near term, and a total of 52 counties can now resume elective surgeries.

Detailed guidelines for restaurants to follow are posted at forward.ny.gov. You can also view the specific PDF provided by clicking here.


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