The question of when indoor dining can open in NYC has been asked continuously over the past few weeks, and today Governor Cuomo shed a little more clarity on what would be needed for him to give the green light.
Indoor dining reopened in phase 3 for every other region in New York State, but was cut from NYC’s reopening plan days prior by Governor Cuomo due to safety concerns. Even earlier this month Mayor de Blasio hinted that it might not reopen until 2021, as it has been a main element that has led to increased cases and infection rates in other cities.
But today (September 3) in a conference call with New York reporters, Cuomo said that he will reauthorize it if he received some assurance of the enforcement of social distancing protocols.
“I’d like to see the restaurants open, however, there’s a ‘but,’” he said, according to 6sqft. “The ‘but’ is the rules and guidance on reopening is only as good as the compliance and the enforcement.”
He pointed to the issues with overcrowding of bars and violations from the State Liquor Authority over the summer in NYC, saying, “I’m going to say to the restaurant association that desperately wants to open, and I understand the economic pressure, can you tell me how we’re going to enforce it? How we’re going to monitor compliance? Because the facts on what happened on bars are damning.”
It comes a day after City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said that it was “time” for New York City to be allowed to host indoor dining again.
Cuomo said he would tell Johnson to put together a task force of “4,000 police that will be doing restaurant compliance,” according to 6sqft.
Either way, Mayor de Blasio said a decision will be announced in September, so we’ll find out by the end of the month at the latest.
Across the river in New Jersey, indoor dining is opening this Friday, September 4.
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