Jan. 30 (UPI) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday targeted Valentine’s Day as the time restaurants will return to serving people indoors at 25% capacity in New York City.
Cuomo released figures that showed that positive coronavirus cases in the state have fallen to under 5% of those being tested and added that downward trends must continue to improve for restaurants to reopen.
“You could make a reservation now or plan dinner — you propose on Valentine’s Day — you have the wedding ceremony up to 150 people,” Cuomo said Friday during his announcement.
He added that there were 8,357 hospitalizations and 151 deaths.
“If positivity rates hold we will reopen indoor dining at 25% capacity on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14,” Cuomo said on Twitter. “In addition to reduced capacity, mandatory safety guidelines will be in place.”
Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, said in a Twitter post that while he’s happy that restaurants will be open at such an important big-ticket holiday, the 25% limit is simply strangling eatery owners.
“Restaurants are broken-hearted that they need to wait two weeks until Valentine’s Day to open at only 25% occupancy in the city while permitting 50% occupancy in dining rooms around the rest of the state where infections and hospitalization rates from COVID-19 are higher,” Rigie said.
“Restaurants in the city are ready to safely open now. Once again the state’s standards are being applied inequitably in the five boroughs without a transparent and data-driven system for further reopening the city’s restaurants economy,” Rigie said.