New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said indoor dining in New York City will shut down Monday as Covid-19 infection rates rise in NYC as across the nation prompting officials from coast to coast tighten up.
The situation in New York City is less dire less than measures in Southern California and elsewhere and Cuomo stressed that outdoor dining and takeout will continue. But the announcement represents close to a worst case scenarios for battered restaurants and bars, one they’ve been dreading for the past week when the governor first hinted a rollback was possible in what’s proving to be a harsh second Covid wave.
At a press briefing Friday, Cuomo said the state has extended a moratorium on commercial evictions to protect establishments that can’t pay rent and has asked Congress to include relief for restaurants and bars in an aid bill — and urged lawmakers to pass it quickly.
Restaurants in the city had been operating at 25% capacity.
“You have the coincidence of two facts: The CDC, which issued warnings on indoor dining last week, and then we have the particular situation of New York City, which is one of the densest locations in this country,” Cuomo said.
He said outdoor dining has been “aggressively expanded” to try to compensate and that restaurants and New Yorkers have both adapted even as the weather grows colder. (Eateries have spilled onto sidewalks and streets, creating a headache for location shooting in the city.)
As vaccines are set to roll out, the governor said, “We’re asking everyone to hold on, The end is in sight.”