Friend: Time for Gyms, Malls, And Theaters to Open

Assemblyman Christopher S. Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats) is calling on the governor to fully reopen businesses, now. According to federal guidelines, gyms, malls and theaters would have been able to open as early as Phase One, should the metrics warrant it. The Southern Tier has had a zero percent seven-day average of positive cases of COVID-19 for nearly three weeks.

“This isn’t about gyms, malls or theaters, per se, but rather the governor’s arbitrary approach to reopening, which has proven to be discriminatory to certain types of business and organizations. At this rate, will Cuomo create Phase Five, Six and higher?” said Friend. “From the beginning, I have been calling for clear guidelines that could be applied to all businesses throughout the reopening which would have kept New Yorkers safe and accelerated our economic recovery. The Southern Tier is ready to open for business; the governor just needs to get out of the way.”

Much confusion has surrounded reopening for many businesses. Malls, for example, were preparing to reopen in Phase Two, then petitioned for approval in Phase Three, only to be dealt this blow from the governor and his administration that these facilities will not be able to open even in Phase Four. The governor’s ruling on gyms has put many of these small businesses at a disadvantage, since many have been closed for months on end. It’s time to move the state forward.