Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that indoor dining will be suspended in New York City as of Monday, December 14.
Cuomo tweeted on Friday that “indoor dining will close in New York City starting Monday. Hospitalizations have not stabilized, and with a rising infection rate and NYC’s density, this means that indoor dining is too high of a risk. Takeout, delivery and outdoor dining will continue.”
The governor had warned earlier in the week that if the city’s hospitalizations did not stabilize after five days, this measure would need to be taken. On Friday, hospital admissions hit 205. The citywide positivity rate is hit 5.35. Both of these figures are above the thresholds Mayor de Blasio put in place. They also mentioned the number of people hospitalized in the city is 5,321.
Cuomo stated in a press conference that he was also influenced by the new CDC warning regarding indoor dining.
Indoor dining has been available in New York City since September 30, with a rule that restaurants must operate at 25 percent capacity. The limit for the rest of the state has been 50 percent. Previously it had been shut down for six months. Outdoor dining has become more common during the pandemic, however, some have expressed concern that the temporary structures some businesses put up to facilitate outdoor dining are not too different from the indoor option.
The restaurant industry has struggled throughout the pandemic.
Fears of those in the industry may not be soothed by the governor’s statements.
“There will be economic hardship – the 25 percent to 0 percent [capacity], but we have compensated in other ways […] The restaurants have adapted and New Yorkers have really adapted […] We’re asking everyone to hold on. The end is in sight, but we still have to get there.”
The governor stated that the federal government must provide funds to bars and restaurants in this next stimulus package. However, he says that all New York can offer until then is an extension of the commercial eviction moratorium.