New York's governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered a curfew for bars and liquor-licensed NY restaurants in its fight against the rise in COVID-19 infections.
The governor has mandated that this business shut down at 10 p.m., starting Friday. However, both food pickups and curbside service is still permitted after the 10 p.m. curfew. Bowling alleys with a liquor license are also subjected to the latest mandate.
NYC Hospitality Alliance Executive Director Andrew Rigie said restaurants have not gotten the critical information needed from the city or state about the new restriction being imposed on their businesses.
The state recorded a higher number of coronavirus cases, including positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths, prompting the governor to take decisive action to protect residents.
New York State Restaurant Association CEO and President Melissa Fleishut said the announcement is a blow to the restaurant industry. She said restaurant owners have been using protocols and measures that would slow the spread to keep the public and staff safe. Although Fleishut said they understand why there are restrictions on micro-clusters, there are concerns about a statewide mandate.
Rigie said the latest order leaves questions for restaurant operators and owners, such as whether it applies to both indoor and outdoor dining, if customers need to leave by 10 p.m. or finish their meals, then leave, etc. Rigie said it's causing great confusion.
Rigie said the new restaurant restrictions should include backup contact-tracing information, as the latest restrictions will have a tremendous impact on the small business' survival. He said elected officials need to offer some financial support to these places before they permanently have to close down and results in thousands of New York residents unemployed.
Besides the bar and restaurant order, Cuomo also ordered private residences have no more than 10 people in the home (exceptions given for households with 10 or more residents).
There were no penalties provided for curfew violators.