Nassau County Executive Laura Curran is calling on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to extend the 10 p.m. curfew on bars and restaurants as Long Island continues combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Curran issued a letter to fellow Democrat Cuomo on Tuesday, Feb. 9 requesting that the state adjust the current 10 p.m. curfew to midnight, stating that bar and restaurant owners have shown they can open and operate safely without spreading the virus.
In her letter, Curran noted that the restriction hurts the revenue for restaurant owners and also cuts the hours and tips of employees.
“I have heard from the owners of many Nassau County restaurants, bars, and other businesses about the challenges of operating within the 10 p.m. curfew restriction for the State Liquor Authority-licensed establishments,” she wrote.
“I am asking you to consider adjusting this guidance as soon as possible, such that all SLA-licensed establishments may remain open for two additional hours, to midnight,” Curran continued. “I believe this adjustment would provide some much-needed revenue and relief for impacted businesses.”
Curran made note that the current restrictions force restaurants to miss out on seatings after 8:30 p.m., and has been a detriment to the restaurant industry for nearly a year.
“These establishments have proven to operate safely - spending many months implementing health and safety protocols, acquiring and requiring the proper PPE, and ensuring that social distancing is maintained,” she said. “The data presented in mid-December determined that restaurants and bars accounted for only 1.4 percent of COVID-19 cases, (which) is consistent with the findings of the county’s contact tracers.”
After navigating their way through the holiday season, which led to a surge of new COVID-19 infections reported on Long Island and across the state, Curran said it’s time to loosen the strings on restaurants and bars, or else risk the local spread of the virus at private parties and gatherings.
“By limiting controlled, safe gatherings at restaurants, my concern is that more residents will be tempted to host or attend private social gatherings, which are responsible for the large majority of cases,” Curran said.
“We must continue to take steps toward fully reopening the economy, and I am confident the restaurant industry will do their part to keep our diners and our employees safe.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.