NYC Restaurants Can Resume Indoor Dining on September 30 says Governor Cuomo
Corresponding video of the Governor speaking can be found near the bottom of this page.
Governor Andrew Cuomo today stated that restaurants and other food establishments can resume indoor dining beginning September 30.
As with all other city and state-wide indoor limitations, capacity would be set to 25% with additional strict requirements:
- Temperature checks will be required at the door for all customers,
- One member of each party will be required to provide contact information for tracing if needed,
- No at bar service, meaning that bars will only be sued as service bars, a source of making drinks and serving them tableside,
- Masks must be worn at all times when not seated at a table, and tables must be 6 feet apart,
- Restaurants are to close at midnight,
- Strict adherence to all state-issued guidance,
- Restaurants should operate with enhanced air filtration, ventilation, and purification standards,
- Limit air recirculation and allow for outside air ventilation.
The state will expand its present SLA (State Liquor Authority) & State Police taskforce while NYC will provide 400 code enforcement/inspectors to work with the task force.
The Governor has raised concerns over compliance enforcement since last week and beyond; recently suggesting that a compliance force of 4,000 police officers might allow for talks to begin. Yesterday, he stated that such a force could be comprised of any regulatory officers just as long as some enforcement mechanism was in place.
When asked about this today, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he’d been in talks with the Governor over the past days and that a decision would be arrived by week’s end.
Mr. Cuomo also added that the New Yorker community is the best compliance unit and they would be welcomed to report noncompliant businesses.
Every restaurant is expected to publicly post their 25% indoor dining capacity and the phone number and text number for violations:
- Call 833-208-4160
- Text 855-904-5036
The Restaurant Association and New York State will be running public service announcements asking New Yorkers to report 25% capacity violations.
Guidelines for indoor dining will be reassessed on November 1 based on data. As long as the infection rate doesn’t increase then the capacity may be raised to 50%.
“Opening restaurants. I understand the economic benefits and I understand the economic pressure that they’ve been under. The restaurant is not just the restaurant owner. The restaurant is the kitchen staff, the wait staff. There’s a whole industry around restaurants – and restaurants also pose a possible risk, right? Concentrations of people inside, indoor dining – but there’s also a great economic loss when they don’t operate,” said the Governor.
“We had a caution flag with restaurants and indoor dining for two reasons. Number one, we are doing indoor dining at 50% across the rest of the state. We have seen clusters outbreak from restaurants. So, that was the reason for caution. Second, we knew that compliance was lacking in NYC, that was a reason for caution.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s response to the Governor’s announcement today:
“We are continuing New York City’s economic recovery by bringing back indoor dining. Working with the state and public health officials, we’ve achieved a plan that puts health and safety first by including strict capacity limits, a close monitoring of citywide positive testing rates and a coordinated inspection regimen. Science will guide our decision-making as we continue to monitor progress and health care indicators over the next three weeks to ensure a safe reopening. This may not look like the indoor dining that we all know and love, but it is progress for restaurant workers and all New Yorkers.”