New York to enter reopening phase 4, no indoor activity allowed

Traders wearing masks work, on the first day of in person trading since the closure during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S.

New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo said that no additional indoor activity would be allowed as New York City was set to enter phase four of reopening.

A final decision on when and how New York City would enter phase four will be made on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Indoor activities would not be allowed in such venues as malls and museums, Cuomo said in a statement on Thursday.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also said on Thursday that the city is still working out the final plans on entering phase four with the state.

“The state is feeling cautious. The city’s feeling cautious,” he said at a briefing.

“To see so many other states going in the wrong direction is causing us a lot of care and how we approach this decision. So, we’ll have more to say on it as early as later today or tomorrow.”

De Blasio said indoor activities should proceed “only with tremendous caution and very strict rules”.

“There can’t be a slippery slope there, because, as we’ve seen, indoor is the challenge and we have to be really tight about it,” the Mayor added.

Governor Cuomo also announced new regulations for bars and restaurants in New York City, introducing a “Three Strikes and You’re Closed” initiative.

Any establishment that receives three violations of social distancing and face-covering in the city will be closed for business, while “egregious violations” can lead to immediate loss of liquor license or closure before a third strike.

Currently, the city only allows outdoor dining as a safety precaution against a surge in COVID-19 infections.

If similar non-compliance in other regions of the state were reported, the restrictions will be extended to those areas immediately, he said.

Meanwhile, all restaurants and bars statewide are required to only serve alcohol to people who are buying food and that “all service at bar tops must only be for seated patrons who are socially distanced by six feet or separated by physical barriers”.

The state reported 769 additional cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the overall tally to 404,775 cases, according to the Governor.

The death toll stood at 32,133.

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