Today, New York City enters a limited Phase 4 in the state’s reopening plans. Like clockwork at this point, the city enters a different phase of coronavirus reopening every two weeks, gradually opening up different businesses and facilities each time. However, due to growing concerns about climbing COVID-19 cases throughout the country, New York City’s Phase 4 will be more limited than that for the rest of the state.

New York City’s Phase 4 will see the reopening of some art and entertainment venues, such as zoos and botanical gardens. However, these venues will only be allowed to hold outdoor activities and at a limited capacity. Filming can resume for television and movies, and professional sports will as well without attendees. Stringent restrictions will remain on many other indoor activities, such as gyms, malls, movie theaters, and museums. Indoor dining will also not be allowed, even though it was originally slated to be a part of Phase 3 earlier this month. If you’re wondering if your business area can operate or what the restrictions might be, you can search through this tool on the New York State website.

New York Botanical GardenPlaces like the New York Botanical Garden will reopen in Phase 4

“We’ve got to strike a balance, and we’ve got time to look at the evidence,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference. “Watch what’s happening around the country, watch what’s happening here in the city and make further decisions on some of these pieces, and we will do that very carefully with the State of New York.”

Although New York has greatly limited its number of cases in the past months, officials are afraid that visitors from other states could once again spread the virus to New York, especially as cases rise in other regions of the country. To combat this, Andrew M. Cuomo put in place an executive order last month that requires travelers from states with high infection rates to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, and then updated this directive with a mandatory registration upon arrival at the airports if from these states. However, concerns about a second wave still remain.

Diners at Dyckman GardensOutdoor diners at Dyckman Gardens open restaurant/open street in Upper Manhattan

“It is inevitable that there will be a second wave,” Gov. Cuomo said in a conference call with reporters on Friday. “But the second wave is going to be the confluence of the lack of compliance and the local governments’ lack of enforcement, plus the viral spread coming back from the other states. It is going to happen.” This morning, in his latest coronavirus update for New York, Cuomo reported that hospitalizations in New York continues to drop, with the lowest rate since March 17th yesterday. There were 519 new cases in New York State as of end of day Sunday with 1.08% COVID-19 tests coming back positive.

Today, Cuomo said “We did the impossible as New Yorkers – we stepped up and conquered the COVID-19 virus and now we have to protect the progress that we have made. One of the main threats to our progress is the number of congregations that we’re seeing across the state, but especially in downstate, primarily of young people, and we saw it again over the weekend. It is a problem, and I’m telling you in plain New York speak that it’s stupid and it has to stop. This not just morality, these restaurants and bars are breaking the law and they are going to make it bad for everyone else because if this continues we’re going to have to roll back the reopening plan and close all bars and restaurants.”

Cuomo said on Sunday, “We’re continuing to progress forward through the COVID-19 pandemic in the face of a continued explosion of cases throughout the United States, and that’s reflected in today’s hospitalizations—the lowest number since March 18—and rate of positive cases. During these confining and frustrating times, I know it’s tempting to be tired of the many rules and guidelines the state has issued, but I reiterate that this pandemic is far from over, and the incredible compliance and fortitude of New Yorkers are key parts of our ability to fight COVID-19. Socially distance, wear a mask, wash your hands and stay New York Smart.”

Brooklyn Drive In-MovieDrive-ins have popped up all over the country. This one at the Brooklyn Army Terminal from Rooftop Films opened up this past Friday.

Even with Phase 4’s limited affect, New York City is still well along in its reopening plan. Phase 2 saw the arrival of outdoor dining throughout the city, which has led to many exciting endeavors in the practice. Phase 3 then saw the reopening of personal care facilities such as nail salons and spas. However, indoor dining still has no planned return date. Additionally, numerous New York City restaurants have closed their doors for good during the pandemic.

In other exciting news, Untapped New York will resume its tours in Phase 4 with new health and safety measures, which include small groups to enable social distancing, sanitized state-of-the-art wireless radio guide system for effective distancing while still being able to hear, masks required for guides and guests, guide training in the age of COVID-19, contactless booking and check-in, and more. Tomorrow, we’ll be announcing our new roster of tours (all outdoors or predominantly outdoors) along with special offers so stay tuned!

Next, check out The Anti-Mask League of 1918 and The Drive-In Movie Theater Coming to Brooklyn Army Terminal!

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