ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that outdoor dining at restaurants will be allowed under phase two of New York state’s reopening guidelines.
The governor’s office says outdoor dining will be allowed for phase two regions beginning Thursday, June 4.
“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,” Gov. Cuomo said in a press release. “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.”
Outdoor tables must be spaced six feet apart, all staff must wear face coverings and customers must also wear face coverings when not seated.
Outside seating permits issued by the Town of Greece can still be used, noted Bill Reilich, the Greece Town Supervisor.
“Many restaurants never had permission to have outdoor seating,” said Reilich, “so they would not be allowed to have it. This permit is a temporary permit good for a period of time that would allow them to have outdoor seating until we get back to regular restaurant service.”
In Webster, Bayside Pub owner Robert Buono expressed his excitement for the outdoor opening in an interview with News 8.
“Keeping the tables flipped up like this is preventing people from using them now, but now we can use them tomorrow so we’ve got a lot of de-winterizing to do in the next 24 hours,” said Buono.
At Avvino restaurant in Brighton, owner Janine Caschette is also ready to seat customers again, but feels the state’s announcement was sudden.
“We’re excited, a little bit shocked, I wish we had a little bit more notice to get our staff ready,” said Caschette, “we’ve had a plan in place that’s been tentative, but now we’ve got to make it an action.”
As part of Phase 3, indoor restaurant service could begin in the Finger Lakes region as soon as June 12.