NEW YORK (AP) New York will start to allow outdoor dining at restaurants as soon as Thursday in much of the state outside of New York City and its suburbs as coronavirus restrictions ease.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that restaurants must place outdoor tables 6 feet apart, all staff must wear face coverings, and customers must also wear covering when not seated.
The order applies to regions that have entered the second phase of Cuomo’s four-step reopening plan, including the Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier and Western New York.
Thousands of demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd remained on New York City streets on Tuesday after an 8 p.m. curfew put in place by officials struggling to stanch destruction and growing complaints that the nation’s biggest city was reeling out of control night after night.
Mayor Bill de Blasio had doubled down on a citywide curfew, moving it up from 11 p.m. a night earlier, but rejected urging from President Donald Trump and an offer from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to bring in the National Guard.
Protests had resumed Tuesday during the day over the death of Floyd, a black man who died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.
People marched in groups of thousands in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, as merchants boarded up their businesses. As the the curfew time arrived, many were still in the streets and continued marching, with officers initially standing by and allowing them.
But officers started ordering people to move along, and began taking people into custody. Demonstrators who had been on the West Side Highway in lower Manhattan were herded off, with parts of the roadway blocked off behind them.
“Something has to break, and it’s not going to be us,” said Evan Kutcher, one of hundreds of demonstrators who stood outside the Barclays Center chanting Floyd’s name Tuesday evening. “We’re here because something needs to change."
New York City buses and subways should look different when the city begins to ease coronavirus restrictions next week. Hand sanitizer will appear in stations. And Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that he wants markers telling people where to stand in stations, on subway and on buses. Ridership is expected to increase when the city enters the first phase of New York state’s region-by-region, four-step reopening process Monday. Transit officials say they are taking steps to prevent another flareup of the virus.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says 49 additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported Tuesday.
(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)