Andrew Cuomo: NYC Indoor Dining Can Reopen At 25% Capacity

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that indoor dining will resume in New York City on Valentine’s Day which is February 14. 

The goal for restaurants to start preparing for the Feb. 14 date comes after Gov. Cuomo previously ordered thousands of restaurants to stop serving customers in December. New York City’s coronavirus test positivity rate is declining, he says. 

The city’s positivity went from 7.1% on Jan. 5 to 4.9% on Jan. 28. All predictive models suggest improvement will continue, Cuomo said Friday at a virus press briefing.

Indoor dining has remained opened in all other regions of New York, including Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, which are very close to New York City and recently have had higher positivity rates and daily case counts than those being reported in parts of the five boroughs, according to data from New York State.  

“Restaurants are broken hearted that they need to wait two weeks until Valentine’s Day to open at only 25% occupancy in the city, while permitting 50% occupancy in dining rooms around the rest of the state where infections and hospitalization rates from COVID-19 are higher,” Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, stated.

“Unfortunately, once again the state’s standards are being applied inequitably in the five boroughs without a transparent and data-driven system for further reopening the city’s restaurant economy,” he added. “These actions raise legal and moral concerns and extend unique economic challenges on the city’s battered restaurants and bars, which shed more than 140,000 jobs over the past year due to the pandemic and related restrictions.”

Sources: CBS, Bloomberg, New York Times, and The Washington Examiner; Photo: therealdeal.com

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