Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he may tweak the Phase III reopening process for New York City as it relates to indoor dining, while New Jersey’s governor said he would postpone that step indefinitely as cases surge across the U.S.
Both governors, who lead the two hardest-hit COVID states in America, cited evidence of heightened risk in other states from enclosed spaces. Both Cuomo and Gov. Phil Murphy also pointed to people flaunting social distancing in various restaurants and bars in their own states as reasons to reevaluate the process.
New Jersey had been set to reopen indoor dining on Thursday; that will no longer happen and no new timeline has been set. New York City had been scheduled to start limited indoor dining next Monday when it enters Phase III. That may not happen either, though the five boroughs will still start the next step in a week.
Phase III reopens personal care services, from spas to nail salons to massage and tattoo parlors and more, in addition to indoor dining — at least for nine of New York’s 10 other regions. More outdoor recreation will also open at that time.
Cuomo is particularly leery of the indoor dining element, citing evidence of heightened risk in other states. He said Monday he would talk with business owners and review the data, but said, “This is a real problem.”
He pledged a final decision on indoor dining in the city by Wednesday. That’s not his only concern as far as New York City and Phase III. While the numbers have been extremely good as of late, Cuomo says he’s concerned about people flaunting social distancing and lacking local enforcement of the rules.