Is opening indoor dining at 25% enough for NYC restaurants? Some say 'No'

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Indoor dining set to resume with limitations at end of month
Diana Rocco reports from the Upper West Side on the indoor dining announcement.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Some restaurants in New York City say that opening indoor dining at 25% capacity is enough to help them survive, especially on a rainy day when outdoor dining isn't possible.

On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that thanks to the compliance by people in New York City, indoor dining will be able to resume at 25% capacity on September 30th.

He says that indoor dining will require temperature checks, one party of each group must leave contact information for contact tracers, no bar service, masks must be worn unless seated at a table to eat, tables must be six feet apart, and restaurants must close by midnight.

New Yorkers are being asked to call or text a task force anonymously if they see an establishment breaking the rules and having more than 25% occupancy.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announces when indoor dining will be able to open in New York City.

People can call 833-208-4160 to make a report or text VIOLATION to 855-904-5036.

Every restaurant is required to post the 25% occupancy and also the text number to the task force.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo talks about what has to happen for the capacity to increase for indoor dining in New York City.

"We are continuing New York City's economic recovery by bringing back indoor dining. Working with the state and public health officials, we've achieved a plan that puts health and safety first by including strict capacity limits, a close monitoring of citywide positive testing rates and a coordinated inspection regimen," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "Science will guide our decision-making as we continue to monitor progress and health care indicators over the next three weeks to ensure a safe reopening. This may not look like the indoor dining that we all know and love, but it is progress for restaurant workers and all New Yorkers."

If New York City hits 2% in COVID-19 positivity rates, the city will immediately reassess. The governor says if things are going well and the rate doesn't increase, he would increase the indoor dining limit to 50% on November 1.

Some New York City lawmakers were pushing for indoor dining in the city, and some restaurant owners had filed a class-action lawsuit.

The suit is seeking $2 billion in damages, alleging the state is violating the constitutional rights of the owners of more than 150,000 New York City restaurants.

The suit is seeking $2 billion in damages, alleging the state is violating the constitutional rights of the owners of more than 150,000 New York City restaurants, many of which have already closed permanently.

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