NY to End Restaurant, Catering Curfews in May

Waiter Lenworth Thompson serves lunch to David Zennario, left, and Alex Ecklin at Junior’s Restaurant in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Encouraged by the decline in coronavirus cases and pushing a revival of the tourism industry, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the pandemic curfew on indoor and outdoor dining will be ended in May. Additionally, catered events will be resumed.

He made the announcement within 24 hours of the Democrat majority in the state legislature repealing the governor’s curfew executive orders.

Many restaurateurs complained the curfews were needlessly restrictive as their businesses were already struggling due to the pandemic and necessary safety measures, and many state legislatures were reconsidering the governor’s broad emergency powers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“As more New Yorkers continue to get vaccinated, and our infection rates continue to decline, it is time to begin removing certain restrictions and regulations that are no longer necessary, so we can safely reopen and rebuild our state’s economy,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said.

The midnight food service curfew will be lifted on May 17 for outdooring dining, and on May 31 for indoor dining.

The 1 a.m. curfew on catered events for vaccinated or recently tested negative attendees will be lifted May 17, and curfew for all catered events and all attendees will be lifted on May 31.

Catered events in private residences can resume on May 3, with a gathering limit of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, so long as everyone involved has been permitted by the respective locality or municipality and adhere to state health guidelines.

On Monday, the governor announced that indoor entertainment venues can expand capacity from 20% to 33% on May 19, and office capacity will increase from 50% to 75% on May 15.

“Everything we’ve been doing is working – all the arrows are pointing in the right direction and now we’re able to increase economic activity even more,” said Cuomo in a statement. “Lifting these restrictions for restaurants, bars and catering companies will allow these businesses that have been devastated by the pandemic to begin to recover as we return to a new normal in a post-pandemic world.”



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