NYC To Allow Indoor Dining To Resume Sept 30th with 25% Capacity

Source: Pixabay (New York)

Governor Cuomo announced that indoor dining may resume on September 30th for New York City, nearly six months after the operations in the city shuttered due to COVID-19 concerns. There are a number of rules that must be adhered to in order to reopen including capacity capped at 25%.

At 25% capacity, the economic financials facing bars will be continue to be steep and nearly impossible to turn a profit but forward momentum is encouraging to see after museums, gyms, and other activities were allowed to reopen without any news for the hospitality industry for months.

The NY Governor is requiring that one patron from each party will have to provide contact information for contract tracing, a measure that has proven difficult to enforce in other states that have tried similar measures. Washington state originally required logging of customer information but their Governor Jay Islee quickly switched courses and made the activity optional.

Accoridng to NYC Mayor's Office, New York City had over 25,000 food, bar, nightlife, and venues producing over $19 billion in economic activity in 2018. The New York Times estimated that nearly 3,000 small businesses have permanently closed in the city with 1/3rd of them being restaurants and bars. 

Governor Cuomo stated that, "it would be negligent and reckless to open indoor dining, knowing that you have issues in upstate New York, knowing that compliance is going to be a problem, and knowing that you have no enforcement mechanism." As such, the official announcement was accompanied by the following notice:

The City of New York will provide a team of 400 enforcement personnel to work with the State Police Task Force to ensure compliance. Restaurants must publicly post their 25 percent indoor dining capacity and the phone number and text number to report violations. Patrons who observe violations can report issues by calling 833-208-4160, or by texting 'VIOLATION' to 855-904-5036.

New York's State Liquor Authority has been very strict on enforcement and 83 establishments have had their license supspended by the beginning of August and each violation can result in a fine up to $10,000. 

At this time, Governor Cuomo said that the next assesstment will hapen on November 1st to determine if the capacity can be increased to 50%.