Malls in New York City can reopen next week, but not for one of the prime activities associated with shopping centers: hanging out.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced that shopping malls can reopen Sept. 9 at 50 percent capacity, but said “loitering” and “unnecessary congregating” will be prohibited. Malls in other parts of the state were allowed to reopen in July provided they had special air-filtration systems.
The governor also announced that casinos can open Sept. 9 at 25 percent capacity, though table and drink service on the casino floor are still off-limits. Casinos, too, must have enhanced filtration systems in place.
The governor also weighed in on whether indoor dining should be permitted in the city, as it is in the rest of the state at 50 percent capacity. He said he agrees with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson that it should resume but pointed to the city’s inability to enforce capacity and social-distancing rules at bars and outdoor restaurants.
In other words, Cuomo put the onus on Mayor Bill de Blasio.
On Wednesday, Johnson called on the state to green-light indoor dining in the city. Cuomo on Thursday said the city should create a police task force to enforce indoor rules before allowing eateries to move beyond outdoor service.
“The plan is only as good as your ability to enforce it,” he said. “And right now, we have no ability to enforce it.”
In June, the city canceled the next class of 1,163 police cadets.
Write to Kathryn Brenzel at [email protected]