Cuomo allows gatherings less than 10 for any reason


NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday night issued an executive order reversing a ban on non-essential gatherings of any size -- instead, he is now allowing non-essential gatherings to take place, but only up to 10 people.

Previously, Cuomo allowed only religious gatherings and Memorial Day gatherings, also up to 10 people. The ban on non-essential gatherings took effect on March 23.

According to the new order, any non-essential gathering up to 10 people may take place for "any lawful purpose or reason" as long people keep six feet apart and follow the Department of Health's cleaning and disinfecting protocols. This means birthday parties, barbecues and gatherings like that may now take place.

The change came after the New York Civil Liberties Union sued Cuomo arguing his initial order infringed on New Yorkers’ First Amendment rights by permitting certain gatherings but limiting protests and demonstrations during the pandemic.

“We’re glad to see the governor reverse course on his executive order from last night. The right to protest and exercise free speech is the foundation of all our other liberties, and during a crisis is exactly when we need to be most vigilant about protecting it,” said NYCLU legal director and lead attorney on the case, Christopher Dunn.