New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday passed the absolute state ban on meetings of any size, allowing up to 10 people to group together as long as they still follow social distance regulations.

The order, issued on & # 39; eve of the weekend of & # 39; on Memorial Day, represents one of the biggest steps the state has yet to take to loosen rules that were adopted in March, which have no one but essential workers hinder collection unless they live in the same household.

However, the order still requires that people assemble to "follow social distance protocols and protocols for cleaning and disinfection needed by the Department of Public Health".

That means people still have to stay at least six feet away from other people, or wear a mask or face cover if they can't keep this distance in public.

New Jersey has adopted similar rules, allowing groups of up to 25 open and indoor meetings of up to 10 people.

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<figcaption>Global coronavirus cases and deaths (PA Graphics)</figcaption></figure>
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<p>Mr. Cuomo had signed an order earlier in the week that allowed meetings of as many as 10 people only for religious services and memorial services for Memorial Day.</p>
<p>That restriction took a lawsuit from the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), which said if it was safe to gather for the purpose of honoring veterans and holding religious ceremonies, the Constitution requires that the same right is extended to people who do not meet for other reasons.</p>
<p>The NYCLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of New York City resident Linda Bouferguen, who & # 39; s said the group was arrested twice outside of City Hall for protesting against the state's shutdown.</p>
<p>She wants to organize a protest again on Saturday.</p>
<p>NYCLU Legal Director Christopher Dunn said in a statement that the organization "was pleased to see the governor reverse course."</p>
<p>“The right to protest and exercise free speech is the basis of all our other freedoms, and during a crisis, it is just as we have to wait the most to protect it.</p>
<p>"Health experts, elected officials and police officials all agree that people can be safe outside when practicing social distance, and it is critical that lawmakers make guidelines and take legal action uniformly."</p>
<p>Mr. Cuomo's spokesman, Rich Azzopardi, said the new order is in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guiding, which says that meetings of up to 10 people are safe if people are socially distant.</p>
<p>"Be safe and wear a mask," he added on Twitter.</p>
<p>The coronavirus killed another 109 people Thursday in the state.</p>
<p>The daily death toll has dropped dramatically from early April, but has remained stubbornly at just above 100 for five consecutive days.</p>
<p>About 5,000 people remain hospitalized.</p>
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