A social distancing sign is seen at Jones Beach (Photo: Jim Griffin/File)
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When is Phase 4 on Long Island?

With the 4th of July weekend wrapping up, Long Island residents, business owners and parents are asking the same question: When will Long Island enter Phase 4 of reopening?

Based on the timing of the first three phases, Nassau and Suffolk counties should be on track to begin Phase 4 of reopening on Wednesday, July 8, assuming the Island’s health and virus metrics don’t reverse their trend.

According to New York State’s guidelines, Phase 4 of reopening will include higher education institutions (such as colleges, medical schools and technical schools), media production businesses and certain indoor and outdoor arts and entertainment venues.

That means Long Islanders will once again be able to visit museums, historical sites, aquariums and botanical gardens, but occupancy will be limited to to 25 percent for indoor venues and 33 percent for outdoor activities, according to the state.

And while it is currently the last phase in the state’s reopening plan, it still won’t be back to business as usual. In addition to mask requirements, reduced occupancy and social distancing, businesses like theaters, gyms and malls still don’t have a target date for reopening.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has expressed concerns about potential health risks for certain indoor venues, even halting indoor dining in New York City until more data can be reviewed.

State and local officials are expected to continue ongoing discussions about those businesses that remain in limbo and when to eventually ease some of the safety restrictions in place.

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