Cuomo threatens to reverse localities’ reopening, singling out Manhattan and Hamptons
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he would reverse the reopening process for individual parts of the state if they do not abide by social distancing practices, citing thousands of complaints in Manhattan and the Hamptons.
“I am warning today in a nice way: consequences of your actions,” Cuomo said at a press conference Sunday. “We have 25,000 complaints statewide. I’m not going to turn a blind eye to them. They are rampant and there’s not enough enforcement.”
“I am not going to allow situations to exist that we know have a high likelihood of causing an increase in the spread of the virus,” the governor added.
Cuomo said Manhattan and the Hamptons were the source of most of the complaints, adding that the state had “never received more complaints in a shorter period of time.”
“Manhattan and the Hamptons are the leading areas in the state with violations,” Cuomo said. “These are not hard-to-spot violations. People send videos of these violations.” Footage and photos of locales such as St. Mark’s Place and Hell’s Kitchen packed with people, many of them without masks, have circulated over the weekend.
The governor said that flouting the reopening guidelines could threaten the progress of the state, once the nation’s epicenter of the virus, adding “We’re not going to go back to that dark place because local governments didn’t do their job.”
Cuomo called on local officials to step up, saying Albany would be forced to step in otherwise, saying that he has contacted bar and restaurants depicted in some of the viral footage and told them their liquor licenses could potentially be at stake. “Show a modicum of respect,” he added. “Wear masks.”
New York has moved to reopen on a regional basis, with New York City recently moving into phase one of the state’s four-stage reopening plan, which means retailers and restaurants may only resume business for curbside pick-up, while Long Island, which includes the Hamptons, has entered phase two.
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