In a surprise announcement, restaurants across New York State will be allowed to reopen for outdoor dining much earlier than expected

On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced outdoor dining at restaurants will be allowed in Phase 2 of the four-phased reopening plan. Up until Wednesday afternoon, restaurants were in Phase 3 of Cuomo's reopening plan.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

"We are continuously evaluating activities that can be safely reopened, and today we are adding outdoor seating at restaurants to phase two," Cuomo said in a press release.

Restaurants in the seven regions that have already entered Phase 2, the Capital Region, Central New York, the Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, the North Country, the Southern Tier and Western New York regions can reopen for outdoor dining beginning tomorrow, June 4.

Outdoor tables must be spaced six feet apart, all staff must wear face coverings and customers must also wear face coverings when not seated, according to the Governo's Office.

"COVID-19 is still a real threat and we're still battling it. I know it's not on the front pages today, but it is still in people and in society," Governor Cuomo said. "But thanks to the people of New York and the nurses, doctors and essential workers, today we have the lowest number of hospitalizations ever and we have the lowest death toll ever," Cuomo said.

The Mid-Hudson Regions entered Phase 1 on last Tuesday. After spending 14 days in Phase 1 a group of "global experts" analyze the data from each region and determine if a region can enter Phase 2. All seven regions that have reached Phase 2 entered into the second phase after spending 14 days in Phase 1.

Local officials from the Hudson Valley remain confident the Mid-Hudson Region will enter Phase2 on time, on Tuesday, June 9, after spending two weeks in Phase 1.