“We’re going to extend the 11 p.m. curfew for food and beverage to midnight,” Governor Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday. “That will go into effect Monday, April 19. For catered events, it will go from midnight to 1 a.m.”
NYC’s bars and restaurants pushed back saying its high time to lift the curfew.
“The extra hour is good news for restaurants, bars and customers, but we still need a roadmap for when the curfew will be lifted like it has for other industries,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance. “The state also needs to lift the rule that prohibits customers from being seated to eat at a bar in New York City, and revisit removing the requirement that a “food item” be served with drinks.”
When asked about it at his daily press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio was cautiously optimistic about relaxing the rules.
“We still are dealing with a huge challenge with the variants. We, obviously, are really concerned about making sure we have enough supply of vaccine,” he said. “I’m very, very happy with what we’ve seen these last days and I’m hopeful. Take it step-by-step. So, I would be careful about going too far in any one jump. When we see an adjustment like this, let’s see how it goes for a little bit. Let’s see what happens out there.”
“Our restaurants, our nightlife industry, absolutely crucial to the future of the city. We look forward to bringing them back really fully over time – the keyword, over time. Let’s first beat COVID and continue step by step to bring back these industries. I think you’re going to see a lot of progress by the summer, I really do. And then, we look forward to the day when we can open up more and more. And I think we’re going to get there, but let’s get it right the first time would be my argument.”
COVID-19 infection rates are the lowest they have been in the city since last December 1. As of yesterday, the 7-day average rates were at 4.4% in Staten Island, 3.7% in Brooklyn and Queens, 3.3% in the Bronx, and 2% in Manhattan, making New York City 7-day average, 3.3% based on numbers from New York State.