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Crowds gather in Astoria streets, flouting social distancing and mask rules

Astoria queens crowds social distancing
Posted at 1:40 PM, Jul 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-18 13:40:12-04

ASTORIA, Queens — Massive crowds gathered in the streets of Astoria, Queens early Saturday morning despite fresh warnings about social distancing from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Hundreds of people were seen on video milling about 28th Avenue and Steinway Street between 1:30 a.m. 2:45 a.m. Many people were not wearing masks and social distancing was not followed, the videos show.

Several restaurants had tables set up on the sidewalk for outdoor dining, but many more people gathered in the street or on corners, videos show.

Police responded to the scene for crowd control.

The gathering took place less than two days after Cuomo announced a crackdown on bars and restaurants in New York City that defy social distancing rules.

“Three strikes and you’re closed,” the governor said Thursday.

Cuomo also said establishments can only sell alcohol to people who are also ordering food.

The Queens gathering is the latest in a string of social distancing violations reported across New York City as the weather has warmed.

Several instances of large crowds gathering outside bars and restaurants have also been reported in Manhattan.