ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent a stern warning to restaurant and bar owners Sunday after reports came in from across the state of large gatherings where people were ignoring social distancing and not wearing masks.
“We have gotten 25,000 complaints, to the state, of businesses that are in violation of the reopening plan,” said Cuomo. “We have never received more complaints in a shorter period of time.”
Cuomo said he would “reverse” course in regions where the state’s reopening plan is not being followed.
The governor said inspectors from the state Liquor Authority are out, along with a task force of state investigators.
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“We are not kidding around with this. You’re talking about jeopardizing peoples’ lives,” said Cuomo, reiterating restaurants’ and bars’ liquor licenses are on the line.
Videos and photos posted on social media show crowds gathered outside bars and restaurants on the Upper East Side and in the East Village on Friday night.
“If you are an individual, you cannot violate the open container law,” said Cuomo. “You can’t stand on the sidewalk, drinking a beer.”
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The governor also reminded police and protesters that they are required to wear masks.
Cuomo said local governments are responsible for ensuring the state’s reopening plan is followed.
“I understand it’s not popular. Nobody wants to go to a sidewalk with people drinking and say, ‘You people can’t drink on the sidewalk,'” said Cuomo. “You know what’s more unpopular? If that region closes because that local government did not do their job.”