The decision has been expected for weeks with the rise in cases, but without federal aid, it will still come as a major blow to NYC restaurants. Gary He/Eater
Tanay Warerkar, Erika Adams
Following a month-long rise in COVID-19 cases in New York City, Gov. Andrew Cuomo moved to shut down indoor dining indefinitely starting on Monday, dealing a major blow to the NYC hospitality industry as it goes into the winter months. Cuomo indicated the shutdown was coming last week due to a rise in hospitalizations, and on Friday, he confirmed that hospitalizations had continued to climb this past week prompting the shutdown.
Restaurant owners have been bracing for the decision for some time now with the steady rise of cases both in the city and across the country. So far, Cuomo had been closing different parts of the city based on clusters of cases with restaurants facing restrictions in Washington Heights, Mott Haven, and large parts of Queens and the Bronx. The latest, though, is the first citywide shutdown measure to go into place since March, when the first COVID-19-related restrictions were introduced. Last month, Cuomo had limited restaurants citywide to to takeout and delivery after 10 p.m. Restaurants can still continue outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.
Cuomo also said Friday that the commercial eviction moratorium would be extended but didn’t specify until when, but urged the federal government to approve federal aid to help restaurants and bars stay afloat. Eater has reached out for more details on the moratorium.
Many in the restaurant industry reacted with consternation as the announcement followed the release of new data that showed that restaurants and bars accounted for 1.4 percent of the spread of the virus in the state, a relatively low number compared to private gatherings and colleges. Read more >>