#NYC Phase Three will see restaurants reopen, whole blocks set up for outdoor dining

#NYC Phase Three will see restaurants reopen, whole blocks set up for outdoor dining

June 26, 2020 | 4:14pm

An estimated 50,000 Big Apple employees will return to work when the city enters Phase Three of the state’s coronavirus reopening plan as early as July 6, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday.

Under Phase Three, the city’s some 27,000 restaurants and bars can open for indoor dining at 50 percent capacity — and nail salons, massage parlors, spas, tanning services, tattoo and piercing shops, and waxing businesses can also reopen.

“So many things people care about and have missed,” de Blasio said of the industries permitted to open up shop in Phase Three.

Eateries will still be able to utilize the outdoor dining they were allowed to set up in Phase Two on the sidewalks through October and in curb lanes through Labor Day — and soon with the added bonus of offering seating in open streets closed to traffic.

“Restaurants will come back with indoor dining at 50 percent capacity and that’s going to be on top of the outdoor dining — a great boon to the restaurants,” de Blasio said.

The mayor noted that another 50,000 workers would be back on the job and 5,500 restaurants have applied with the city to offer sidewalk and curbside seating under de Blasio’s outdoor dining plan.

Hamilton Heights outdoor dining
People are seen dining outdoors on Broadway in Hamilton Heights.Christopher Sadowski

The city on Monday will take applications for streets with a high volume of restaurants to take over entire blocks with outdoor dining in both existing open streets and retail corridors.

Outdoor dining in open streets is expected to start Fourth of July weekend on Fridays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m., but Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said the city will “try and get some up and running before July 4th if we can.”

“We will try and do this as expeditiously as possible, but it’s a little bit more complicated than just your portion of the curb,” Trottenberg told reporters during the press briefing.

The applications to apply for dining in open streets should come from the city’s local Business Improvement Districts and other community-based organizations, officials said.

“We’ve already heard interest from a lot of BIDs and community boards to allow restaurants to take up an entire block,” Trottenberg said. “They need to do it safely…We think this will give yet another chance for restaurants to get even more space.”

The city expects to have 10 to 20 open streets with dining by July 4 and another 10 to 20 by July 17.

“My editorial view is it’s going to be very popular and I think it’s going to be great,” de Blasio added.

Meanwhile, the Big Apple remains well below its three coronavirus-related thresholds as it continues to reopen.

The number of people admitted to Big Apple hospitals was at 61 on Wednesday – below the threshold of 200, according to the latest city data, which has a two-day reporting lag.

The amount of patients in intensive care units for the bug across the city’s public hospital system was at 312 – under the threshold of 375, while the percentage of people tested citywide who are positive for COVID-19 was also under the 15 percent threshold at 2 percent.


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