Coronavirus NY: Restaurants to stay open later in New York - but is it enough?

Coronavirus Update for New York
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Restaurants in New York can finally stay open a little later, but people who work in the industry say it's still not late enough.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday he is extending the 11 p.m. restaurant curfew to midnight starting Monday April 19.

The curfew on catered events moves from midnight to 1 a.m.

And yes: if you order an alcoholic beverage, it still has to come with food.

Indoor capacity will be limited to 50 percent.

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Of course, before the pandemic, restaurants in the city never slept, with many open all night and bars open until 4 a.m.

So we are now moving slowly back in that direction.

"As the numbers are down on COVID, we talked about adjusting the valve between economic activity and economic constraint," Cuomo said.

Andrew Rigie, Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, said this is good news.

But, Rigie added, "we still need a roadmap for when the curfew will be lifted like it has for other industries," noting that gyms and even casinos can stay open all night.

But those places can't serve food all night.



In addition to the restaurant curfew adjustment, Cuomo announced that fans can return to outdoor horse and auto racing beginning next Thursday, April 22.

Attendance will be limited to 20 percent capacity and some other familiar COVID restrictions will be in place.

"The health and safety protocols that apply to sports events - face mask, social distancing, proof of completed immunizations, recent negative test - will apply here also," Cuomo said.

But upstate, lawmakers in Erie county want to go a step further, presenting a plan to require proof of full vaccination in order to attend a Buffalo Bills game.

The plan, presented by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, is already facing pushback.

Cuomo said he is not sure the county executive has the legal authority to enforce that rule.

But stay tuned: football season is still several months away.

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