Indoor dining resumes in New York City restaurants in three weeks, but at 25% capacity, with a bunch of restrictions and with an army of enforcement inspectors poking around. Stool pigeons also will be welcomed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.
Restaurants that want to open at 25% capacity on Sept. 30 must follow a strict set of rules, the governor said:
- Temperature checks at the door for all customers:
- Someone at each table will be required to provide contact information for tracing if needed (phone number, email, etc.);
- No customer service at the bars, only at seats;
- Tables must be 6 feet apart;
- Customers can remove masks only when they’re seated;
- Close at midnight.
To make sure restaurants and customers are flying right, Cuomo said, the state will expand its State Police and State Liquor Authority task force. The city also will provide 400 code enforcement inspectors.
“The number of places that are going to have to be checked for compliance are about 10,000, so even with the state expanding the task force and the city adding 400 code compliance inspectors to that task force, 10,000 is still a very large universe,” Cuomo said.
The governor also asked customers to report compliance issues at 833-208-4160 or by texting VIOLATION to 855-904-5036.
“It will all be anonymous—the restaurant will not know you are the one who provided information,” Cuomo said.
The capacity percentage could be doubled by Nov. 1 if the rate of coronoavirus infection hasn’t spread, the governor said.
“We could do it at any time before Nov. 1,” Cuomo said, “but we have Nov. 1 as a benchmark where we could go to 50%.”
MORE INFO: ny.gov/nycindoordining.
New York City has been the only area in the tri-state to not allow some form of indoor dining.
“Science will guide our decision-making as we continue to monitor progress and health care indicators over the next three weeks to ensure a safe reopening,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “This may not look like the indoor dining that we all know and love, but it is progress for restaurant workers and all New Yorkers.”
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