Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that New York’s restaurant service curfew will end next month for both indoor and outdoor dining areas, and that bar seating can return to New York City beginning May 3.
Cuomo had already extended the food and beverage service curfew by an hour, to midnight. That will be lifted entirely for outdoor dining areas beginning May 17 and for indoor dining areas beginning May 31.
“We know the COVID positivity rate is a function of our behavior, and over the last year New Yorkers have remained disciplined and continued with the practices we know work to stop the spread of the virus,” Cuomo said in a statement.
“Everything we’ve been doing is working – all the arrows are pointing in the right direction and now we’re able to increase economic activity even more. Lifting these restrictions for restaurants, bars and catering companies will allow these businesses that have been devastated by the pandemic to begin to recover as we return to a new normal in a post-pandemic world.”
Cuomo also said the 1 a.m. curfew for catered events where attendees have provided proof of immunization or a recent negative COVID-19 test will be lifted starting May 17, with the curfew for all catered events set to be lifted on May 31.
Catered events can also resume at individual homes starting May 3 above the residential gathering limit of 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors if core COVID protocol is maintained. Fixed dance zones will come to catering halls the same day.
The announcement comes a day after the Legislature said it would roll back Cuomo’s executive order requiring people to buy food in order to purchase booze.
That change is expected to be voted through later Wednesday.
The restaurant industry has lobbied for months for the rollback of these restrictions, arguing they are arbitrary and unnecessarily penalize an industry hit hard by the pandemic’s restrictions.
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