The move means outdoor dining and some retail stores will be back open for the first time in weeks in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
It comes one day after the Mid-Hudson region began Phase 2.
The rest of the state is already in Phase 2, except for New York City, which entered Phase 1 Monday.
Eyewitness News found a tent set up in the parking lot of the Premier Diner on Commack Road in Commack early Wednesday morning so the restaurant can start outdoor dining.
Phase 2 also introduces the return of in-person retail car sales, office-based businesses and yes – even hair salons and barbershops!
Nail salons will remain closed.
And at least one religious community, the Diocese of Rockville Center, has announced churches may hold all masses, weddings, funerals, baptisms, at 25% capacity starting Wednesday.
At the Metropolitan Bistro in Sea Cliff, they’ve added tables in the parking lot so they’ll have nearly as much capacity as they’re used to.
Takeout orders have not made up for the loss.
“We were pretty much devastated and we thought we could do to-go, but didn’t think that could keep us alive,” said the owner.
“I can’t wait,” said one resident. “It’ll be so nice just to feel normal again, and to feel like I’m being treated.”
While stores are opening back up, the interior of malls – besides the anchor stores – are remaining closed.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran is asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to change that.
“Malls employ thousands and thousands,” she said. “They pay millions in property taxes, and I’m concerned some of our malls are not going to make it.”
In West Hempstead, they’re filling the town pool at Echo Park — but they don’t know yet when it will be filled with swimmers.
As for Little League, Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin and the Town Board also sent Cuomo a letter, this one requesting that ballfields be a part of the Phase 2 reopening.
“These kids are screaming to get out and do activity,” Clavin said. “And we can do it in a responsible manner.”
“They’ve got to get out,” Baldwin Little League Director Tom Rielly said. “Their mental health is really deteriorating.”
Here are the locations that will NOT YET be reopening Wednesday:
–Indoor malls where you cannot enter the store from the outside
–Indoor on-premise restaurant and bar service
–Large gathering/event venues
–Gyms, fitness centers, and exercise classes, except for remote or streaming services
–Video lottery and casino gaming facilities
–Movie theaters, except drive-ins
–Places of public amusement, including amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children’s attractions
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