Liquor-licensed restaurants and bars in New York State must close by 10 p.m., beginning Friday, as COVID-19 infections continued to increase in the state, the governor said Wednesday, but operators still did not know details.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said State Liquor Authority- licensed establishments, including bars and restaurants, must close by 10 p.m., but curbside and food pickups will be allowed after that hour. Bowling alleys that have liquor licenses are also included in the new measure.
“At the time of the announcement, restaurants have not been provided important details by the state or city about the new restrictions on their businesses,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, in an emailed statement Wednesday afternoon.
As the state logged higher coronavirus cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths, the governor also said gyms will also close at 10 p.m.
Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, said in a statement that Wednesday's announcement was a blow to the restaurant industry.
"Our members have put in place procedures and protocols to mitigate the spread, and we’ll continue to do so to ensure the safety of our employees and patrons," Fleishut said. "We understand the logic behind micro-cluster restrictions, but at this time we have concerns about blanket statewide restrictions like this.”
Rigie said the governor's order left questions for restaurant owners and operators.
“They don’t know if the restrictions apply to indoor and outdoor dining, and if customers need to leave the restaurant by 10 p.m. or if they can finish their meals, which is creating more confusion, so we hope that information is released immediately,” Rigie said.
Rigie added that the new restaurant restrictions should be backed up with contact-tracing data, “because they will make it even more difficult for these small businesses to survive.
“We demand that our elected leaders provide financial support to our city’s restaurants and bars before they permanently shutter and put tens of thousands of New Yorkers out of work,” he said.
In addition to the restaurant and bar order, Cuomo said gatherings in private residences will be limited to no more than 10 people (with exceptions for households with more than 10 residents).
Cuomo did not outline penalties for curfew violations.
In October, New York City had outlined penalties of up to $15,000 a day for violations on mass-gathering rules. Fines of up to $1,000 a day were available for those who violated social-distancing and mask-wearing rules, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had warned people who don't adhere to the rules.
Cuomo said the curfew announced Wednesday was in response to rising COVID numbers.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Tuesday announced the California Bay Area city was shutting down indoor dining after a 250% increase in in coronavirus cases since Oct. 2.
Breed’s order will be for an unspecified length of time and included food courts and restaurants in museums and hotels.
Update Nov. 11, 2020: This story has been edited to include comment from the state association.
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