Phase Four could mean increased capacities at restaurants

Hochul discusses reopening in Western New York
Posted at 8:44 AM, Jun 16, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Much of Western New York is taking a big step toward rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The counties making up the state's Western New York reopening region are in Phase Three.

Businesses like restaurants, tattoo parlors and massage therapists can reopen. Restaurants are allowed to seat people inside.

In a one-on-one interview with 7 Eyewitness News, New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said restaurants have to follow guidelines from the state to stay open.

"Every business that wants to reopen has to follow that guidance, certify they'll follow it to make sure...for their employees and their customers that it's a safe environment," Hochul said.

Masks have to be worn when you aren't at a table. Tables have to be separated by a certain distance and capacities are limited.

"When pressed about a timeline for increasing capacities inside restaurants, Hochul said, "Phase four could result in an increase in capacity, but we're going to make sure we do it in a smart way."

Numbers won't go up all at once, Hochul said, because the state does not want infection rates to increase. If that were the case, it could be a set back in the reopening of Western New York.

"You can expect a different experience, but at least it's a step toward getting back to some semblance of normal," Hochul said.

Phase Four is expected to begin on June 30.