Cuomo Threatens to Reverse New York Reopenings After Receiving 25,000 Complaints

June 15, 2020 Updated: June 15, 2020

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has warned that the state’s phased reopening may have to be reversed after tens of thousands of complaints of violations of social distancing and other emergency requirements were received statewide.

The governor revealed June 14 during a daily press briefing that more than 25,000 complaints were made against businesses in New York—the state hardest hit by the CCP virus—with the majority of the complaints in Manhattan and the Hamptons, affluent beach communities on the east end of Long Island.

“We’re getting reports from all across the state that there are large gatherings, social distancing is being violated, people are not wearing masks,” Cuomo said. “We have gotten 25,000 complaints to the state of businesses that are in violation of the reopening plan.”

The state has utilized health guidelines to instruct its reopening and continued to see all measures of infection drop—new cases, deaths, hospitalizations, and positive rates among those getting tested. New York City is currently in the second phase of its reopening plan.

Cuomo warned New York City and Long Island officials that their reopenings are at risk if they don’t stop further large public gatherings that he said are threatening progress on curbing the spread of the CCP virus, commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus.

“Yes, there is a very real possibility that we would roll back the reopening in those areas,” he said at a briefing.

“Bars or restaurants that violate the law can lose their liquor license,” he wrote later on Twitter. “People with open containers in the street can be fined. Police and protesters not wearing masks can be fined. Local government must enforce the law.”

“The violation complaints are predominantly from Manhattan and the Hamptons. Lots of violations of social distancing, parties in the street, restaurants and bars ignoring laws,” the governor said. “Enforce the law or there will be state action.”

He urged the public to remain vigilant, noting that New York, unlike many other U.S. states, hasn’t seen a spike in cases of COVID-19.

“Since reopening, almost half the states have seen an increase in COVID cases. That hasn’t happened in New York,” he wrote. “Let’s keep it that way. The pandemic isn’t over and we MUST keep being vigilant.”

Cuomo added that both protesters and police who fail to wear masks or face coverings while present at protests over the death of George Floyd could also be fined.

“It’s disrespectful to the healthcare workers and the essential workers who sacrificed themselves … some of whom died, and gave their life to crush this COVID virus” he said. “Show a modicum of respect and wear a mask.”

Reuters contributed to this report.