Indoor dining to shut down again in NYC starting Monday

Coronavirus update for NYC
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that indoor dining would be shut down in New York City starting on Monday.

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Marcus Solis reports on Governor Andrew Cuomo's announcement that indoor dining would be shut down in New York City starting on Monday.

Many restaurant owners have said that if forced to shut down again they aren't sure they will be able to survive the winter.

The indoor dining closure will last at least two weeks.

"I support the governor 100%," Mayor Bill de Blasio said earlier ahead of Governor Cuomo's anticipated announcement.

He had warned that capacity would need to be shut down in the city and decreased elsewhere if regional hospitalization rates didn't stabilize in five days, apparently they did not.

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"If we don't slow the spread and we overwhelm the hospital system, then every restaurant goes to 0% indoor, outdoor, 0%. That's the worst case scenario," Cuomo said.

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Indoor dining will stop on Monday due to rising hospital rates in New York City.

Indoor dining accounts for 1.43% of recent spread. The governor said much of the recent spike in infections is the result of indoor gatherings in private homes, accounting for roughly 74% of cases.

Prior to the announcement Mayor de Blasio signaled his support for curtailing indoor dining.

"I feel tremendous empathy for restaurant owners," de Blasio said. "I feel for them, but sometimes it's smart to say look, if you take an action now, you can stop much worse things from happening later."

Earlier in the week, the mayor added that he hoped outdoor dining would continue to help city restaurants stay afloat.

"Obviously, outdoor would continue under this scenario, and outdoor is now permanent," Mayor de Blasio had said. "A lot of these restaurants weatherize, so it can work even in colder months takeout and delivery will continue."

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Data will be analyzed over this weekend and indoor dining capacity in the rest of New York state could also be reduced and areas could move into different zones.

It has been projected that 50 percent of city restaurants might not survive the pandemic.

Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance released a statement saying:

"While public health and safety must be paramount, Governor Cuomo's announcement to once again shut down indoor dining in New York City is at odds with the State's own data that's been presented as driving these decisions, and it will be the last straw for countless more restaurants and jobs. And the restrictions begin on Monday with zero economic support for small businesses that are already struggling to survive.

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"Manhattan - home to the largest number of restaurants in the state - has a positivity rate of just 2.7%, which is less than half that of many counties throughout the state where indoor dining remains open, Albany (7.2%), Westchester (6.0%), Suffolk (6.1%). Restaurants as an industry are only responsible for a small 1.4% of virus cases as compared to 74% from living room spread. Yet, only New York City's restaurants are being closed even when hospitalization rates upstate are double the city's rate.

"New York City's restaurants have gone above and beyond in ensuring their businesses create a safe and healthy environment for their customers and employees that meet the state's required safety protocols - at a significant cost - and it's worked.

"Closing indoor dining in New York City will severely jeopardize the survival of countless small businesses and jobs and now it's more important than ever that all levels of government pass critical support to help save the industry. The federal government must enact the RESTAURANTS Act, a revitalization program to help mitigate the economic and social devastation caused by the pandemic, state government must extend and strengthen the eviction mortarium through 2021 and enhance unemployment benefits for the thousands of workers who will lose their jobs again, and city government must permanently cap third-party delivery fees and require these companies to give restaurants ownership of their customer data."

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