New York City Restaurants Can Soon Open for Indoor Seating, But with Heavy Restrictions

Governor Andrew Cuomo approved indoor dining at 25% maximum capacity and no bar service.

toasting with wine at gourmet restaurant
Photo: Getty

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has approved New York City's restaurants to move forward with indoor dining amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, Cuomo announced that New York City restaurants would be allowed to resume indoor dining to a limited capacity of 25 percent, starting Sept. 30, according to several reports. However, restaurants will not be able to provide bar service.

The new guidelines state that all customers will be subject to temperature checks and one member of each party will have to give contact tracing information. Additionally, guests will likely be required to wear face coverings when not seated.

“Because compliance is better, we can now take the next step,” the governor explained, as he and Mayor Bill de Blasio previously stopped a plan to reopen indoor dining in July.

To enforce compliance with indoor dining guidelines, Cuomo said the city will assign 400 new personnel to an existing task force of the State Liquor Authority and state police.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

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Cuomo added that they would be reassess the infection rate on Nov. 1. It is currently below 1 percent and if it does not rise then officials will consider increasing the indoor dining capacity to 50 percent.

However, if the rate rises to 2 percent, the city would reassess indoor dining availability, NBC reported.

New York City was allowed to reopen outdoor dining in late June, with restaurants transforming the city with innovate curbside, open street and patio seating.

The infection rate in New York City has stayed below 1 percent for several weeks now. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 6,354,600 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 189,900 have died, according to a New York Times database.

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