New York City eateries breathed a small sigh of relief Wednesday when Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that indoor dining will return on Sept. 30.
Restaurants will be allowed to operate indoors at 25 percent capacity.
“This is good news and the right step forward,” said Cuomo, “especially for restaurant owners and staff who have been struggling through this time. But it is up to all of us to ensure compliance and the health and safety of those around us.”
Guidelines for indoor dining include: 25 percent occupancy limit; temperature checks at the door for all customers; one member of each party will be required to provide contact information for tracing if needed; no bar service — bars will only be used as service bars, a source of making drinks and serving them tableside; masks must be worn at all times except at tables; tables must be six feet apart; restaurants will close at midnight; strict adherence to all state-issued guidance; restaurants should operate with enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards, limit air recirculation and allow for outside air ventilation; and outdoor dining will continue in the interim.
“Although 25 percent capacity may not be a viable solution for all Brooklyn restaurants, we are grateful to Governor Cuomo for helping to save our neighborhood businesses and jobs,” said Randy Peers, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “And as a reminder to all restaurants across the borough, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has grants available for deep cleanings and thermometers in stock as part of the PPE supplies funded through the Bring Back Brooklyn Fund and NewYork-Presbyterian.”
On Tuesday, Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis held a conference with the Independent Restaurant Owners Association Rescue to announce a lawsuit against Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to force the reopening of city restaurants.
State Senator Andrew Gounardes held a conference with Bay Ridge restaurant owners at Chadwick’s on Sept. 3, demanding guidelines and questioning why indoor dining was permitted in other parts of the state but not in the city.
Cuomo said that restaurants might be able to serve up to 50 percent capacity by Nov. 1.