New York City restaurants rejoice: if all goes well, indoor dining will be reopening at 25% capacity on Feb. 14. Restaurants will be able to rejoin other restaurants throughout New York State on Valentine’s Day after two months of hiatus, following surging COVID-19 rates in December.
“The restaurants want that period of time so they can notify workers, so they can get up to speed on dining, order supplies etc.,” Cuomo said during Friday’s press conference, adding that the trajectory can change if positivity or hospitalization rates suddenly surge.
Restaurants will have to follow the same rules as when indoor dining originally opened in New York City in September, including capacity restrictions, table distancing of six feet or more, mandatory temperature checks, contact tracing no bar service, and filtration upgrades.
The New York City hospitality industry had also been asking for the current business curfew to be pushed back from 10 p.m. to midnight, and Cuomo did not honor that request, citing concerns over late-night crowding at bars and trendier restaurants.
As of December 2020, more than 110,000 restaurants have closed nationwide, or just about 17% of the total dining establishments in the country, according to data from the National Restaurant Association.
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Learn more about how New York City plans to reopen indoor dining at 25% capacity on Valentine’s Day here.