New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has threatened to roll back reopening in areas where social distancing and other protocols put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic were being violated.
Cuomo said at Sunday’s briefing that some 25,000 complaints of violations have been filed against businesses across the state since it launched a phased reopening in May, reports Xinhua news agency.
“We have never received more complaints in a shorter period of time,” said Cuomo, adding that a majority of the complaints were from New York City and the Hamptons in Long Island.
The Governor on Saturday retweeted a video showing hundreds of people partying and drinking in St. Mark’s Place in Manhattan’s East Village on Friday evening.
Few people were seen wearing a mask.
“Don’t make me come down there…” he commented.
“There is a very real possibility that we would roll back the reopening in those areas,” Cuomo said on Sunday.
“This is a very serious situation and I want to make sure everybody knows the consequences here.”
During the first phase of reopening in New York, restaurants and bars are only allowed to offer food deliveries and gatherings are capped at 10 people.
Drinking alcohol in public places is also illegal in New York.
Cuomo warned that bars and restaurants that violate the laws could lose their liquor licenses and people with open containers in the street could be fined.
Police officers and protesters not wearing masks can also be fined.
The Governor warned local governments to enforce the law or “there will be state action”.
“It’s disrespectful to health care workers and essential workers who sacrificed themselves and some of whom died,” he said.
The state’s daily COVID-19 deaths once again dropped to a new low at 23 on Saturday, down from 32 on Friday and 42 on Thursday, according to Cuomo.
The governor confirmed 694 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the statewide total to 383,324.