Hours Before CNY Enters Phase Two, Confusion Around Who Can Reopen Remains
Data from the past two weeks points to Central New York entering Phase Two of reopening on Friday. However, which businesses are included in Phase Two is unclear. As of Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon’s Thursday briefing, New York State still had not issued any specific guidance.
McMahon acknowledged the frustration of business owners who don’t know exactly where they fall.
“Moving forward, we have to be better going into Phase Three with guidance,” said McMahon. “There’s going to be a lot of disappointed people who have been in this inbetween phase area who didn’t make the cut for Phase Two, and I understand the disappointment. I wish I had the ability to make that call.”
Despite a lack of guidance, McMahon said the region will begin the next reopening phase. The County Executive did issue guidance on one local reopening issue: outdoor seating at restaurants. He said if restaurants have outdoor seating existing on their property, customers who get takeout can eat in those spaces.
“This does not mean you go out and buy ten picnic tables and put at your restaurant. That is against the intent of this, and that is not what we are talking about,” said McMahon. “We’re talking about seating that is already in place, and you have a patron that goes and buy a meal. Instead of going home, they sit at the bench that is on your property."
Restaurants still cannot offer service outdoors. McMahon continues to advocate to the state for outdoor service to resume in Phase Two rather than Phase Three.