Monday, June 14, 2021

Cuomo open to bringing indoor dining back early, but won’t nix 10 pm curfew

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ALBANY — Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday opened the door to lifting indoor dining restrictions in New York City before Valentine’s Day — but said he is not on board with raising the statewide 10 p.m. curfew for restaurants and bars ahead of Super Bowl Sunday.

“I’ve talked to the restaurants about it. They’re eager to do indoor dining. I get the point about [opening] Friday [and] Saturday, but let’s look at the numbers over the weekend and talk about it on Monday,” Cuomo told reporters during a virtual, Albany-based briefing when asked why it was returning on a Sunday, when many can’t go out.

“I want to re-open as much as anybody wants to re-open anything on any level, but let’s look at the numbers over the weekend and then let’s have a conversation on Monday.”

The governor announced last month that limited indoor dining will return to the Big Apple by Feb.

cap on indoor and outdoor dining ahead of this weekend’s Super Bowl. 

The push from industry leaders to open has ramped up in recent weeks. On Thursday the Empire State Tavern Association — representing nearly 3,000 bars and restaurants statewide — sent a letter to Cuomo advocating for the curfew lift, arguing that it would give businesses the opportunity to make up for losses sustained over the past years’ economic shutdowns.

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An upstate judge also issued a temporary restraining order Friday morning allowing nearly 100 bars and restaurants located in Erie and Monroe Counties to open up past the 10 p.m. limit.

But Cuomo was unmoved.

“The curfew is because when people tend to stay later and they’re just drinking, then there’s more gatherings. You can’t drink and wear a mask,” he explained of the limit, which has been in place since mid-November predating the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

“Maybe if the [Buffalo] Bills were in the Super Bowl it would be a different conversation,” he quipped.

When contacted by the Post, a Cuomo spokesman said they are reviewing the judge’s decision and believe the order applies solely to the plaintiffs — rather than to all businesses statewide.

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