New York City's prominent restaurant dining will resume indoor dining on February 14, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday. This is the most recent announcement by a state to relieve public health restrictions as a fatal surge of COVID-19 begins to subside.
The flattening of hospitalization rates has prompted several states to ease public health restrictions, despite officials cautioning that cases may surge again, and highly contagious strains of COVID-19 from other nations appear in the United States.
Indoor Dining in NYC to Resume at 25% Capacity
Lovebirds who feel comfortable enough to eat indoors could find it hard to score a seat on what is already one of the busiest nights of the year as they contend with the restaurant's limit of 25 percent capacity.
The choice to reopen indoor dining may provide a flimsy lifeline to grappling restaurants in New York City. This marks the second time restaurant dining will be allowed since the earliest COVID-19 shutdown in March 2020.
Thus, the reopening is dependent on the novel coronavirus positivity rates.
According to Cuomo, so long as New York maintains its downward spiral of coronavirus cases, restaurants could open for indoor dining at the said capacity on Valentine's Day.
Cuomo earlier ordered the Big Apple's eateries to halt serving customers on-site in December 2020.
Other major cities in the Northeast, including Philadelphia and Boston, allow limited indoor dining as of now, reported Info Digest.
Cuomo posted on Twitter, "Update on indoor dining in NYC: If positivity rates hold we will reopen indoor dining at 25% capacity on Valentine's Day - February 14. In addition to reduced capacity, mandatory safety guidelines will be in place."
Cuomo stated, "The restaurants want a period of time so they can notify workers, they can get up to speed for indoor dining, order supplies, et cetera. So we're saying indoor dining, 25 percent on Valentine's Day," reported OAN.
He said the comeback could be a blueprint for how other aspects of life in New York City could reopen. He added the process would be very gradual because he thinks the pandemic will go on for years and not months.
Cuomo noted that the COVID-19 cases rate in New York City went from 7.1 percent in January and currently down to 4.9 percent. All models foresee for the number to continue to drop.
Valentine's Day is one of the most bustling dining days of the year.
The governor also declared that wedding receptions of a maximum of 50 percent or 150 people would be allowed in New York beginning on March 15. This is provided that local health officials approve and all guests are tested.
Thousands of New York City restaurants have been sustaining themselves on makeshift outdoor pavilions and takeout business since mid-December.
Notwithstanding the resumption of indoor dining, Cuomo sounded a note of caution, indicating he will readily reverse the move if the trajectory of COVID-19 indicators aggravates.
COVID-19 ravaging New York City has recorded over 26,000 fatalities.