Politics 

Cuomo Suspends Indoor Dining in N.Y.C. Again – The New York Times

Indoor eating will as soon as once more be barred in New York Metropolis eating places beginning on Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo mentioned on Friday, a major reversal of the town’s reopening that comes as officers attempt to halt the escalation of a second wave of the coronavirus.

The choice, which Mr. Cuomo earlier this week steered was all however sure, is a crushing blow to the town’s restaurant trade, a significant financial pillar that has been struggling all yr in the face of pandemic restrictions and a national recession.

As he introduced the brand new restrictions, the governor known as on federal lawmakers to offer reduction to the hospitality trade. Congressional leaders have struggled to reach an agreement on a brand new financial stimulus package deal.

“The federal authorities should present reduction to those bars and eating places in this subsequent package deal,” Mr. Cuomo mentioned at a information convention.

For months, New York Metropolis’s restaurant house owners have warned that their companies, a lot of which function on tight margins in one of the best of occasions, are on the sting of economic collapse. Hundreds of workers, a lot of them low-wage employees, have been laid off since March, and their jobs have yet to fully return.

The trade’s anxieties are solely mounting as winter approaches and frigid temperatures threaten to discourage clients from eating outside. Trade teams have known as repeatedly for federal or state monetary help, with restaurant and bar house owners watching nervously as stimulus talks drag on in Washington.

“One other compelled authorities closure of New York Metropolis eating places will trigger an irreversible hurt on even numerous extra small companies and the a whole lot of hundreds of employees they make use of, particularly if it isn’t coupled with monetary reduction,” Andrew Rigie, the chief director of the New York Metropolis Hospitality Alliance, mentioned in a press release on Monday.

In asserting the transfer, the governor cited the rising charge of virus transmission in the state, in addition to the town’s inhabitants density and its rising variety of virus-associated hospitalizations.

“That could be a dangerous scenario,” Mr. Cuomo mentioned.

As of Friday, 1,668 individuals had been hospitalized with the virus in New York Metropolis, Mr. Cuomo mentioned. Statewide, 5,321 individuals had been hospitalized.

The governor’s announcement got here after weeks of shifting messages on indoor eating, which resumed in New York Metropolis solely on the finish of September.

As virus instances throughout the state this fall, Mr. Cuomo hesitated to impose the widespread restrictions that he carried out in March, when he restricted eating places and bars to takeout and supply.

In October, the governor mentioned he would shutter indoor eating solely in the toughest-hit areas in the state, so-known as microclusters. He briefly modified course in late November, saying he would shut down indoor eating citywide if the seven-day common take a look at positivity charge hit 3 %. He walked back that assertion a few week later.

The scattershot strategy, which confused residents and enterprise house owners alike, got here as Mr. Cuomo repeatedly downplayed indoor eating as a supply of latest infections, and targeted his consideration on events and different indoor gatherings as a substitute.

However on Monday, Mr. Cuomo had warned that he would curb indoor eating in areas the place hospitalizations didn’t stabilize, citing guidance from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention that described consuming at indoor eating places as a “significantly excessive-threat” exercise.

On Friday, Mr. Cuomo mentioned that contact tracing information confirmed that eating places and bars had been the fifth essential supply of latest infections in the state, nicely behind family and social gatherings. The information relies solely on those that give a response to contact tracers and doesn’t seize each an infection in the state, officers have mentioned.

Of 46,000 instances between September and November, 1.43 % might be linked to eating places and bars, in comparison with 73.84 % related with personal gatherings.

Earlier than Mr. Cuomo’s announcement, Mayor Invoice de Blasio voiced his help for halting indoor eating in New York Metropolis.

“Generally it’s good to say, look, in case you take an motion now, you possibly can cease a lot worse issues from taking place later,” Mr. de Blasio mentioned.

Mr. Cuomo didn’t announce new restrictions on eating places and bars in the remainder of the state, which had been allowed to reopen extra rapidly and have been allowed to function at 50 % most capability indoors, in comparison with 25 % in New York Metropolis.

Nevertheless, he mentioned the state would monitor hospitalization numbers over the weekend and “make any changes subsequent week” if the information steered it was crucial.

The state additionally modified restrictions on gyms and private-care providers reminiscent of hair salons, each of which Mr. Cuomo has described as excessive-threat companies in the previous. Underneath his restrictions concentrating on microclusters, these institutions had been required to shut in orange zones, the second tier of restrictions.

However on Friday, Mr. Cuomo mentioned that contact tracing information confirmed that these companies “usually are not the issue that they had been” earlier in the pandemic. In consequence, they’d be allowed to function in orange zones at 25 % capability and with weekly testing of workers.

Luis Ferré-Sadurní contributed reporting.

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