NYC Council considers bill to allow outdoor overflow dining

NYC Council considers bill to allow outdoor overflow dining

May 28 (UPI) — The New York City Council will consider a resolution Thursday that orders Mayor Bill de Blasio to allow restaurants to reopen in defiance of a state-ordered lockdown.

The resolution, supported by the restaurant industry, would require de Blasio to devise a plan for opening streets and sidewalks for outdoor dining, even as all other regions of New York state begin to reopen under a phased plan from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The provisions of the council’s measure violate state requirements for New York City, which has not yet met criteria for further relaxation of restrictions under Cuomo’s “NY Pause” order.

Several New York City restaurants and other businesses have begun reopening on their own.

Twenty-four council members sent a letter to de Blasio last week urging him to establish a pilot program to give small businesses access to sidewalks, streets and open spaces due to indoor limitations.

The mayor warned that reopening before criteria are met is “the best way to guarantee” businesses won’t reopen.

“Of course we’re going to enforce this and we’re going to enforce it aggressively.”

He said last week he expects the city to begin reopening in early June.

Each of New York’s other nine regions are in initial reopening stages, as Long Island began to do so Wednesday.

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said the state is close to entering the second of three planned reopening phases. He said summer camps and daycare centers will likely be able to resume operations in the coming weeks.

Murphy said no firm dates or health data criteria have been established yet for a move to the second stage.

“We are now well past the peak [of the outbreak],” he said.

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