15 minutes. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo authorized meetings of up to 10 people this Friday starting this weekend “for any legal reason or reason”.

Cuomo thus amended a controversial previous order authorizing meetings for religious reasons only and facing legal action in court.

The new order is valid for the entire state, despite the fact that three of its ten regions – including New York City and its suburbs – have not yet begun the reopening process due to the strong impact of the pandemic.

Ravages of COVID-19

The state of New York represents the great epicenter of the pandemic in the United States (USA) with 358,154 confirmed infections and 28,853 deaths, a figure similar to that of Spain and only below the United Kingdom and Italy. In the Big Apple alone, 21,086 people lost their lives.

The chairman of the New York City Council’s health committee, Mark Levine, said that “this decision has not been made by health professionals, it was forced by a lawsuit.” He also asked not to abide by said order.

The US enters this Saturday in the long weekend of Memorial Day, which normally marks the beginning of the summer season in the country.

Coinciding with this date, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy authorized meetings of up to 25 people.

“I am proud to be able to take this step today and add a little more hope and optimism at the beginning of the summerMurphy said.

“If they were waiting to meet their neighbors for a cookout on Memorial Day, they can do it,” he added.

After New York, neighboring New Jersey is the second state most hit by the pandemic, with 152,579 confirmed cases and 10,985 deaths.

In total, in the United States there are 1,601,251 confirmed infections of coronavirus and 96,001 deaths, according to the independent count by Johns Hopkins University.