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Indoor dining is slated to return to NYC on September 30th : FOOD

In Cervos before the pandemic.
Photo: Scott Heins

Almost exactly six months after the citywide restaurant closed, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Today, New York restaurants can soon see people back inside. Cuomo announced that indoor dining will return to the five wards on September 30th with a 25 percent reduced capacity and additional restrictions. “When I open restaurants, I understand the economic benefits and pressures they have come under,” Cuomo said at a press conference today. He later added, “We spoke to stakeholders, we worked on this topic every day.”

Restaurants that reopen must follow rules, including temperature checks for all diners, a requirement that a member of each group leave contact tracing information and keep tables three feet apart and ensure diners wear masks when not on sit at their table. All restaurants must also close at midnight, meet air filter requirements, and not offer bar service (i.e. order your daiquiri at the bar). Cuomo also says they will step up enforcement, with the state expanding the SLA and State Police Task Force, and the city providing 400 inspectors to enforce the code.

Currently, New York City is the only region in the state that has in some ways not reopened for indoor dining. The city was originally scheduled to reopen for indoor dining on July 6, however This has been postponed indefinitely due to spikes in coronavirus cases across the country, some of which were associated with bars and restaurants. “It’s not time to push indoor dining,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said when announcing the postponement. Restaurant and bar operators in New York have been asking the city for an indoor menu all summer. Tren’ness Woods-Black from Harlem Sylvia said Grub“At this point I just need to know.”

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