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COVID-19: NY Restaurants Want Permanent Extension For Takeout Drinks

The New York State Restaurant Association is calling on lawmakers to extend alcoholic takeout and delivery options.
The New York State Restaurant Association is calling on lawmakers to extend alcoholic takeout and delivery options. Photo Credit: Pixabay

Restaurants have been among the hardest-hit industries during the COVID-19 pandemic, though if there was one silver lining for the industry, it has been the discovery of expanded alcoholic takeout and delivery options.

On the one-year anniversary of the shutdown of eateries, the New York State Restaurant Association called on state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to extend the “wildly popular” service.

According to the NYSRA, in the past year, since the initial COVID-19 shutdown, the takeout and delivery service has become so popular that 86 percent of New Yorkers want it to remain in place moving forward.

As it currently stands, alcohol and delivery will expire on Sunday, March 28 if it is not extended.

“Allowing restaurants to offer alcohol for takeout and delivery has been a lifeline for many in the restaurant industry during this difficult time,” NYSRA CEO Melissa Fleischut said. 

“Our industry, as well as our customers, quickly recognized the mutual benefit that this arrangement can provide, and it has been incredibly popular across the state."

Fleischut noted that restaurants and bars are still suffering tremendously, as restrictions on indoor dining are still in place in New York, including strict social distancing rules, mask mandates, and a limited occupancy for patrons.

“We urge the Legislature and governor to act quickly to ensure that eateries still have this option available to them as sales numbers are still lagging well behind normal year projections,” she added. “While we hope that alcohol to-go eventually becomes permanent, an extension is our immediate priority.” 

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