Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Friday that indoor dining will be banned again in New York City restaurants from Monday, in a major reversal of the city reopening that comes as officials try to halt the escalation of the second wave of the Coronavirus.
Decision by Mr. Cuomo Earlier this week Believed to be absolutely certain, it is a crushing blow to the city’s restaurant industry, a vital economic pillar that has been struggling throughout the year in the face of epidemic restrictions and National recession.
For months, New York City restaurant owners have warned that their companies, many of which operate on tight margins at the best of times, are on the brink of financial meltdown. Thousands of employees, many of them low-wage workers, have been laid off since March, and among them Jobs are not fully back.
Industry concerns are only growing as winter approaches and soaring temperatures threaten to deter customers from dining outdoors. Industry groups have repeatedly called for federal or state financial help, with restaurant and bar owners watching anxiously. The stimulus talks continue in Washington.
“Another enforced government shutdown of New York City restaurants will inflict irreversible damage on even the countless small businesses and the hundreds of thousands of workers who employ them, especially if not coupled with financial relief,” said Andrew Reggie, CEO of the New York City Alliance. For hospitality in a statement on Monday.
Mr Cuomo’s announcement came weeks after the change of messages about indoor eating, which only resumed in New York City at the end of September.
With virus cases soaring across the state this fall, Mr Cuomo hesitated to enforce the widespread restrictions he implemented in March, when he limited restaurants and bars to eating out and delivery.
In October, the governor said he would only close indoor eating places in the hardest-hit areas of the state, the so-called small clusters. He changed course briefly in late November, saying he would shut down indoor dining around town if the average seven-day test positive rate reaches 3 percent. Then, about a week later, he said Walked back This statement.
The distraction approach, which has confused residents and business owners alike, came as Mr. Cuomo repeatedly downplayed the importance of indoor eating as a source of the new infection, focusing his attention on parties and other indoor gatherings instead.
But on Monday, Mr Cuomo warned that he would limit indoor eating in areas where hospital admissions have not stabilized, citing Guidance Of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which described eating in indoor restaurants as a “particularly high-risk” activity.
Then, one of the governor’s top aides, Robert Mojica, said on Wednesday, during a press conference, that restaurants and bars ranked fifth or sixth among the main sources of new infections in the state, and it was the fastest-growing category that is contributing to the spread of the virus.
On Friday, Mr Cuomo said contact-tracing data showed that 1.43 percent of the 46,000 cases between September and November could be linked to restaurants and bars.
Luis Ferre Sadourney contributed to the report.