Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said on Friday that indoor dining will be banned again in New York City restaurants from Monday, in a major reversal of the city’s reopening that comes as officials try to stem the escalation of the second wave of the coronavirus.
Decision by Mr. Cuomo Earlier this week Believed to be absolutely certain, it is a crushing blow to the city’s restaurant industry, a vital economic pillar that has been struggling throughout the year in the face of epidemic restrictions and National recession.
While announcing the new restrictions, the governor called on federal lawmakers to provide relief to the hospitality industry. Congressional leaders have struggled To reach an agreement On a new economic stimulus package.
“The federal government should provide relief to these bars and restaurants in the next package,” Mr. Cuomo said at a press conference.
For months, New York City restaurant owners have warned that their companies, many of which operate on tight margins at the best of times, are on the brink of financial meltdown. Thousands of employees, many of them low-wage workers, have been laid off since March, and among them Jobs are not fully back.
Industry concerns are only growing as winter approaches and soaring temperatures threaten to deter customers from dining outdoors. Industry groups have repeatedly called for federal or state financial help, with restaurant and bar owners watching anxiously. The stimulus talks continue in Washington.
“Another enforced government shutdown of New York City restaurants will inflict irreversible damage on even the countless small businesses and the hundreds of thousands of workers who employ them, especially if not coupled with financial relief,” said Andrew Reggie, CEO of the New York City Alliance. For hospitality in a statement on Monday.
In announcing the move, the governor noted the increased rate of virus transmission in the state, as well as the city’s population density and the high number of hospitalizations associated with the virus.
“This is a bad situation,” said Mr. Cuomo.
As of Friday, Mr Cuomo said, 1,668 people had been hospitalized due to the virus in New York City. Statewide, 5,321 people have been hospitalized.
The governor’s announcement came after weeks of changing messages about indoor eating, which only resumed in New York City at the end of September.
With virus cases across the state this fall, Mr Cuomo hesitated to impose widespread restrictions he implemented in March, when he limited restaurants and bars to takeout and delivery.
In October, the governor said he would only close indoor eating places in the hardest-hit areas of the state, the so-called small clusters. He changed course briefly in late November, saying he would shut down indoor dining around town if the average seven-day test positive rate reaches 3 percent. he is Walked back This statement after about a week.
The distraction approach, which has confused residents and business owners alike, came as Mr. Cuomo repeatedly downplayed the importance of indoor eating as a source of the new infection, focusing his attention on parties and other indoor gatherings instead.
But on Monday, Mr Cuomo warned that he would limit indoor eating in areas where hospital admissions have not stabilized, citing Guidance Of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which described eating in indoor restaurants as a “particularly high-risk” activity.
On Friday, Mr Cuomo said contact tracing data showed that restaurants and bars were the fifth major source of new infections in the state, after home and social gatherings. Officials said the data is only based on those who provide a contact tracing response and it does not capture every infection in the state.
Of the 46,000 cases between September and November, 1.43 percent could be linked to restaurants and bars, compared to 73.84 percent linked to private gatherings.
Before Mr. Como’s announcement, Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed his support for stopping indoor eating in New York City.
“Sometimes it’s smart to say, ‘Look, if you take action now, you can prevent much worse things from happening later,” said Mr. de Blasio.
Mr. Cuomo did not announce new restrictions on restaurants and bars in the rest of the state, which were allowed to reopen more quickly and were allowed to operate with a maximum of 50 percent indoors, compared to 25 percent in New York City.
However, he said the state would monitor hospitalization numbers over the weekend and “make any adjustments next week” if the data indicated this was necessary.
The country has also changed restrictions on gyms and personal care services such as hairdressing salons, both of which Mr. Cuomo described as high-risk businesses in the past. In light of its restrictions targeting small gatherings, these institutions are required to close in the orange areas, the second layer of restrictions.
But on Friday, Mr. Cuomo said that contact tracing data showed that these companies “are not the problem they were in” earlier in the pandemic. As a result, they will be allowed to work in the orange areas at 25 percent capacity and with a weekly employee test.
Luis Ferre Sadourney contributed to the report.