New York City is known as the city that never sleeps, but that hasn’t been the case since the pandemic began — particularly for restaurants and bars, which have been operating under a 10 p.m. curfew.
But that’s about to change: Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that bars and restaurants can stay open until 11 p.m., an hour later than before. The change will take effect Feb. 14.
“Our decisions are based on science and data and we adjust as the virus adjusts,” Cuomo said. “The infection rate and hospitalizations have continued to significantly decline.”
There are 7,068 patient hospitalizations statewide, which is the lowest since Christmas Day. The statewide 7-day average positivity rate is 4.04 percent, which is the lowest since Nov. 30.
The move comes the same day that restaurants in New York City can reopen indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. Still, restaurants are uncertain about whether they’ll be able to survive without being able to seat many customers.
Cuomo has faced various lawsuits surrounding his restrictions on restaurants. Previously, when the curfew was set at midnight, a Brooklyn ale house sued stating that coronavirus “does not behave as a vampire, infecting others only when the moon is out.”
Andrew Rigie, the executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, called the curfew extension “welcome news” in a statement.
“That extra hour of service will allow many restaurants to accommodate an extra seating, so these struggling small businesses and workers will be able to generate much-needed income,” he added.