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Cuomo threatens to roll back Manhattan, Hamptons reopening as complaints against businesses surge

Lucas Manfredi

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is threatening to roll back the phased reopening in parts of his state following an "alarming" surge of 25,000 complaints against businesses, mainly restaurants and bars, not adhering to coronavirus social distancing measures.

"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. "Manhattan and the Hamptons are the leading areas in this state with violations. These are not hard-to-spot violations. People send videos of these violations."

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Cuomo blamed local officials for letting violators run rampant by not enforcing the rules. After phoning a few bars and restaurants where New Yorkers complained, he also threatened to pull a restaurant or bar's liquor license for not adhering to the rules.

"Local government, do your job. If we have to close, then people are going to hold you accountable," Cuomo said. "Bars and restaurants, do your job. Or you can have an SLA violation and possibly loss of your license."

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He stressed that it is "disrespectful" to those who are fighting the virus on the front lines and those who are following the rules by staying at home.

"It's disrespectful to the health care workers and the essential workers who sacrificed themselves for 100 days. Some of whom died and gave their life to crush this COVID virus," Cuomo said. "Show a modicum of respect and wear a mask."

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He vowed that New York would not "go back to that dark place because local government didn't do its job or because some individuals exploited the situation."

"If you do not [do your job], and this continues, we would have no choice but to take state action, ceasing the behavior," Cuomo added.

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New York City is currently in phase one of its four-stage reopening plan, and if everything goes well, Mayor Bill De Blasio said the city could hopefully reach phase two as early as July. The Hamptons entered phase two of the reopening plan earlier this week.

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