New York Governor Postpones Indoor Dining for NYC, Citing Increasing Coronavirus Cases Around U.S.
Several other regions in the state have moved into Phase 3 — and some even into Phase 4.
New York City will postpone its resuming of indoor dining, Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed on Wednesday, despite the city's plans to move into Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan on Monday.
Cuomo said the decision was made based on both fear over increases in case counts in other states as well as the “slipping” of social distancing measures and mask-wearing in the city.
“It is going to be postponed until the facts change and it is prudent to reopen,” Cuomo told reporters during a news conference. “We need to see better compliance by citizens… or the local governments do a better job on compliance. And we would like to see the viral spread across the nation at least stabilizing.”
New York City entered Phase 2 on June 22 amid a decline in COVID-19 cases and related deaths, allowing outdoor dining to resume along with stores to reopen and services like hair salons to resume operations. Playgrounds also opened.
Several other regions in the state have moved into Phase 3 — and some even into Phase 4. Under the state’s reopening plan, Phase 3 would typically allow dining to reopen with 50 percent capacity indoors along with the reopening of nail salons, spas, and tattoo studios. Indoor dining will still be allowed in other areas of the state that are currently in Phase 3 or beyond.
New York City is still on track to enter Phase 3 on July 6, however, and those personal care businesses would be expected to open.
The decision comes as New York City has continued to see a decrease in new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. In total, the city has recorded more than 212,000 confirmed cases and more than 18,400 confirmed deaths, according to the city’s Health Department.
“I believe we all share a concern that indoor dining has now become problematic,” Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed during an earlier news conference on Wednesday, but added he believed “Overwhelmingly, New York City residents respect social distancing” and said enforcement “is not a role for police.”
Andrew Rigie, the executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, noted the importance of expanding outdoor dining to Travel + Leisure on Wednesday from an economic standpoint.
“Restaurants and bars have been making enormous financial sacrifices for four months, and their survival now depends on compensation reflective of those losses,” Rigie said. “We respect the government and public health officials’ decision to postpone the anticipated July 6th reopening of indoor dining, but the longer neighborhood restaurants and bars are forced to be closed, the harder it will be for them to ever successfully reopen.”
New York City is not alone in postponing indoor dining. New Jersey did the same earlier this week, delaying indoor dining there, which was originally supposed to resume on July 2.
New York, along with New Jersey and Connecticut, has implemented a mandatory quarantine for anyone coming from a state that has a “high infection rate” of COVID-19, which currently includes 16 states.