New Yorkers experiencing cabin fever after two months of coronavirus quarantine were offered an unexpected reprieve when Gov. Andrew Cuomo eased the state’s ban on gatherings in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

The governor signed an order late Friday allowing people to assemble in groups of as many as 10 as long as they stay at least 6 feet from other people and wear masks when they can’t maintain that distance.

The surprise order came hours after the New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging earlier rules allowing gatherings only for religious services and Memorial Day commemorations. The NYCLU argued the Constitution requires the same right be extended to people gathering for other reasons.

Cuomo’s move could clear the way for New Yorkers to picnic together in parks and backyards _ if they don’t get too close to their friends. They can also head to New York City beaches this weekend, but they shouldn’t expect to get in the water, and they’d better be wearing a mask.

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The forecast appeared less than ideal for the holiday weekend,

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