NY lifts COVID state of emergency, last call for to-go cocktails

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, June 24, 2021
NY lifts COVID state of emergency
Cocktails-to-go privileges will end at midnight tonight along with New York's state of emergency.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York State is lifting the coronavirus state of emergency and with it will come the end of to-go cocktails and alcohol delivered to your door at the stroke of midnight tonight.

The state liquor authority confirmed the regulations allowing to-go and delivery of alcoholic beverages will end Thursday with the lifting of the state of emergency.

"While the lifting of the emergency order is a welcome milestone to the end of the pandemic, with it comes the sudden end to alcohol to go," Melissa Fleischut, President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association said. "A permanent extension of alcohol to go is supported by 78% of New Yorkers, but the Legislature failed to extend it and now the Executive Order has ended. Only in New York would elected officials ignore an overwhelming majority of the public. Restaurants are struggling to find staff, keep up with rising costs and manage a limited supply of goods, and nearly two thirds of the applicants will not receive Restaurant Relief Funds. New York State must do more to help, not hurt, our restaurant industry."

The New York State Liquor Authority tweeted the updated guidance on Wednesday:

"I feel like people should be able to do what they want. Have fun, get a drink to go," Hell's Kitchen resident Connor Shaughnessy.

The New York City Hospitality Alliance released a statement saying, "The sudden elimination of alcohol to-go will hurt many businesses that have come to rely on this critical revenue stream."

"It would have been different if people had been getting drunk in the streets. But since that didn't happen, I don't see why he'd want to get rid of it," bartender Ashley Lydon said.

Gov. Cuomo announced that New York state's coronavirus state of emergency, which lasted 16 months, expires today -- and it will not be renewed. The state, however, will continue to follow CDC guidance for mask-wearing in certain indoor settings like schools and hospitals.

"The emergency is over, it's a new chapter," Cuomo said. "Doesn't mean there are not challenges for the new chapter. but the emergency is over. It's not that we believe COVID is gone, we still have to vaccinate people, especially young people."

Cuomo acknowledged that the emerging Delta variant poses a potentially grave risk to unvaccinated Americans. But nearly two-thirds of adult New Yorkers are now fully-vaccinated and a post-pandemic New York, apparently does not include drinks 'to-go.'

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