Outdoor dining at restaurants across Long Island is likely just a week away from happening, now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has moved outdoor dining from phase 3 to phase 2 of the reopening plan from the coronavirus shutdown.
Long Island is expected to enter phase 2 of the reopening initiative on June 10.
Sayville’s and Patchogue’s chambers of commerce, along with officials representing other Suffolk County downtown areas, have been working on obtaining special permits to temporarily close Main Streets on selected days to pave the way for outdoor dining. Tables and chairs would be positioned at least six feet apart to help prevent spreading the virus.
The governor said today that starting tomorrow, outdoor dining will be permitted in New York regions that have entered phase 2 of reopening.
Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce President Eileen Tyznar last week hosted a press conference with Sayville retailers and restaurant owners pushing for the opportunity to have outdoor dining and safe in-store retail shopping.
“Our local officials, alongside our chambers of commerce, have been fighting to expedite this process for our Sayville and West Sayville restaurants,” said Eileen Tyznar, president of the Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce. “They can’t wait to get back to business.”
Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter noted Suffolk leaders have been advocating for restaurants to have the ability to reopen outdoor dining.
“Given that the Town of Islip offers miles of waterfront restaurants, and that many of our inland restaurants offer dining alfresco, it is essential that these establishments have the opportunity to open their outdoor and waterfront spaces at the earliest and most prudent time,” she said. “COVID-19 has had an irrevocable financial impact on the restaurant and business community thus far, and reopening outdoor dining will give business owners the much-needed chance to recoup some of their lost revenue.”
New York state mandates that outdoor tables must be spaced six feet apart, all staff must wear face coverings and customers must also wear face coverings when not seated.
“COVID-19 is still a real threat and we’re still battling it…,” Cuomo said. “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 now we are adding outdoor seating at restaurants to phase two,” he added.