NEW YORK (AP) — Indoor dining at New York City restaurants will be delayed out of fear it would cause a spike in coronavirus infections, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.
Watch the governor’s remarks in the player above.
Cuomo said the ban on indoor dining would be confined to New York City, where he complained that compliance with social-distancing guidelines is dropping. “Everything else is going to continue, everything else is continuing all across the state,” the governor, also a Democrat, said. “This is a New York City-only modification because frankly it is a problem that is most pronounced in New York City.”
New York City is in the second phase of its reopening plan and is expected to to go to a third phase on July 6. Indoor restaurant dining has been part of Phase 3 elsewhere in New York state but will now be delayed indefinitely in the city.
Under the current rules, large gatherings of people are still banned in New York City, but retail stores have been allowed to welcome customers back inside and offices have reopened to workers with some social distancing rules in place.
Andrew Rigie, the executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, said in a statement that he respects the decision to postpone indoor dining, but “the longer neighborhood restaurants and bars are forced to be closed, the harder it will be for them to ever successfully reopen.” He urged officials to forgive rent, expand outdoor dining and “enact other responsive policies to save our city’s beloved small businesses and jobs.”
Cuomo said there were 11 deaths attributed to the virus statewide Tuesday, down from nearly 800 deaths a day statewide during the height of New York’s outbreak in April.