Indoor Dining to Resume in New York City
Over six months after NYC's dining rooms closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the city eateries are set to reopen for indoor seating. The State will allow indoor dining to resume in New York City at 25% capacity with strict restrictions on September 30.
If all goes well, restaurants can increase capacity to 50% as of November 1st.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Wednesday that while indoor dining in New York City will be allowed to resume beginning September 30th with a 25 percent occupancy limit, all restaurants that choose to reopen will be subject to strict safety protocols. This includes temperature checks, contact information for tracing, face coverings when not seated and other safety protocols. Bar service will not be permitted, and restaurants will close at midnight. Guidelines will be reassessed based on the data by November 1. If the infection rate does not increase, restaurants may be permitted to go to 50 percent capacity; the State will monitor any positivity increase on an ongoing basis and potentially reassess if necessary. Business guidance for indoor dining in New York City is available here.
“The New York City restaurant industry has been financially devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and a safe return to indoor dining is critical to help save these vital small businesses and jobs,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance.
The City of New York will provide a team of 400 enforcement personnel to work with the State Police Task Force to ensure compliance. Restaurants must publicly post their 25 percent indoor dining capacity and the phone number and text number to report violations. Patrons who observe violations can report issues by calling 833-208-4160, or by texting 'VIOLATION' to 855-904-5036.
"I want to thank New Yorkers for their hard work to increase compliance, and we can now take the next step in reopening our restaurants. We've been speaking with stakeholders, and we are now announcing that we can safely reopen indoor dining in New York City with limited capacity at the end of this month, as long as they adhere to strict health and safety protocols," Governor Cuomo said. "This is good news and the right step forward, especially for restaurant owners and staff who have been struggling through this time. But it is up to all of us to ensure compliance and the health and safety of those around us."
The Governor also announced the State to launch 'New Yorkers Protecting New Yorkers' PSA with New York State Restaurant Association to encourage compliance.
Guidance for Indoor Dining in New York City
- 25 percent occupancy limit
- Temperature checks will be required at the door for all customers
- One member of each party will be required to provide contact information for tracing if needed
- No bar service - bars will only be used as service bars, a source of making drinks and serving them tableside
- Masks must be worn at all times when not seated at a table
- Tables must be six feet apart
- Restaurants close at midnight
- Strict adherence to all State-issued guidance
- Restaurants should operate with enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards
- Limit air re-circulation and allow for outside air ventilation
- Outdoor dining will continue in the interim
Melissa Fleischut, President and CEO, New York State Restaurant Association said, "The announcement comes at a pivotal time for the restaurant industry in New York City, and we would like to thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing this and providing hope to the thousands of restaurants based here in the culinary capital of the world. Allowing restaurants to open indoors at a limited capacity will provide these eateries with an economic lifeline as they all try and keep their doors open through this pandemic. We will happily work with relevant governmental agencies and hospitality partners to help ensure that all restaurants in New York City understand the rules."