Nov. 11, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Restaurants, bars and gyms across New York State must close by 10 p.m. beginning Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today.
Cuomo said the new mandates were needed since the COVID-19 infection rate continues to rise across the state. He told reporters that bars and restaurants play an outsized role in the spread of the virus.
The new restrictions, which take effect Friday, mean eateries in New York City must shutter their indoor dining areas two hours earlier than currently allowed. Presently, bars and restaurants must close indoor dining at midnight and outdoor dining at 11 p.m.
The governor said restaurants and bars must shut down both indoor and outdoor dining by 10 p.m.
The restrictions are going to have a significant impact on bars and restaurants as winter approaches.
“The cut back to our indoor hours will hurt our industry the most especially as the weather gets cold,” said Nick Murphy, co-owner of Bar 43 in Sunnyside. “I’m not hopeful about the winter.”
Bars and restaurants will still be able to provide takeout and delivery of food past 10. p.m. However, takeout and delivery of alcohol is not allowed past the 10 p.m. curfew under the new rules.
Gyms are also subject to a 10 p.m. curfew beginning Friday. Gyms are another “identified” coronavirus spreader, Cuomo said.
The governor also announced that no more than 10 people will be permitted to gather at private homes statewide. This is in line with nearby states, such as New Jersey, which has put a similar cap in place.
Cuomo said indoor parties are another “great spreader” of COVID-19, as identified by state contact tracers.
“Bars, restaurants, gyms, house parties — that’s where [coronavirus spread] is coming from, primarily,” Cuomo said. “Those are the ones that we can address.”
Cuomo enacted the mandates as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in New York and nationwide.
The COVID-19 positivity rate in New York reached 2.93 percent yesterday — which is below many surrounding states’ rates. However, the positivity rate has steadily increased since summer ended when it was below one percent.
There is always an upside to a downside like this. While owners of these establishments will suffer especially bars, at least people living near bars will not have to hear noise to all hours of the night and morn.