WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Another sign the north country is starting to reopen: boat tours of the Thousand Islands are once again allowed.
That’s according to Scott Gray, chairman of the Jefferson County legislature, who announced Wednesday the state has cleared “scenic and sightseeing” tours.
“We are headed for a phase II opening on Friday and ahead of schedule today I’m pleased to announce our tourism industry takes a major step forward by opening up our tour boat lines in the region,” Gray told 7 News.
Boat cruises and tours are a staple of summer life along the St. Lawrence River, but they were idled by the COVID-19 crisis, which shut down virtually all gatherings and recreational outings.
Gray said the clearance from Empire State Development is effective immediately.
According to the guidance he received, no food services or dining will be allowed on the cruises, and the cruises will have to follow the state’s other guidelines for operating during the COVID crisis.
Gray said more businesses will be able to open on Friday. He says phase two of reopening will kick in just after midnight.
Phase two industries include retail, professional services such as hair salons, administrative support, real estate, and rental and leasing services.