Reopen News: NYC indoor dining may be delayed in Phase 3 reopening

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Indoor dining in NYC could be delayed as city enters Phase 3 next week
Jim Dolan has more on the possibilty that indoor dining could be delayed in NYC as COVID-19 cases surge across the country.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio said while outdoor dining is "working" in New York City, he confirmed Monday that the reopening of indoor dining may be paused due to coronavirus concerns.

"We are now going to reexamine the indoor dining rules for Phase 3," de Blasio. "The rest of Phase 3 is moving on pace for Monday, July 6th."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is also questioning reopening indoor dining in the city.

"Indoor dining has shown that it has been problematic," he said. "A virus spreads in closed indoor areas that have air conditioned systems."

Raw Video: Gov. Andrew Cuomo discusses how risk factors may impact the restart of indoor dining in NYC.

Cuomo said the state is reviewing data and consulting with stakeholders concerning indoor dining in New York City during Phase 3.

"Our reopenings have worked very well," he said. "We're not going backwards. We're going forwards. A lot of these other states actually have had to go backwards. They started to reopen and they had to stop, but we want to study this issue

primarily New York City on indoor dining."

A decision on whether to allow or pause indoor dining in the city during Phase 3 will come by Wednesday.

The mayor said the city is seeing problems with indoor dining, especially in other states.

"The rest of the nation, I don't need to tell you, is looking more and more troubling," he said. "And that is causing us to think about each step we are taking and look at what is happening around the country. We all see a nexus to a particular problem. We all love indoor dining, but we also see problems with indoor dining."

De Blasio said on Sunday his team spoke to Gov. Cuomo's staff about their concerns for indoor dining.

"We are going to work it through with the state, figure out how we want to approach it," de Blasio said. "If we want to pause that piece for a while, or modify it. We will have more to say in the next coming days, because we want restaurant owners to have information right away."

Raw Video: Mayor Bill de Blasio discusses concerns which could delay the restart of indoor dining in New York City.

As an alternative, de Blasio said he is working to get as many restaurants as possible to offer outdoor dinning.

Marcus Solis has more on the new outdoor dining system in New York City.

"We have 6,100 restaurants that have already applied and gotten the certification to go over just the last two weeks, so they can do the outdoor dining." the mayor said. "It's been such a hit. It's been so positive, we want to go further with it. We are going to reach out to every single restaurant that qualifies, but has not yet applied and help them to apply.

RELATED: Restaurants in much of NY get green light for outdoor dining

De Blasio said he wants to get every restaurant into outdoor dining.

"Let's maximize their revenue, bring back their workforce, but keep it outdoors primarily while we figure out the indoor piece. We also want to remind restaurant owners, please be careful with the outdoor dining area along the street," he said. "There are specific rules on how to keep them safe and a specific approach you need to take to keep it away the traffic. We are going to send inspectors around and ambassadors around to talk it through and make sure restaurant owners really get that right."

The mayor also added that barbecuing will be allowed in parks in the coming days.


The sense of doom grew, especially after March 1, when the first confirmed case arrived in Manhattan. Soon, there was a hotspot in New Rochelle, and small curfews and containment zones across the area offered a hint of a frightening future we still thought we could avoid.

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