Cuomo to allow NYC indoor dining to return Feb. 14

 Restaurants in New York City can welcome back diners beginning on Valentine’s Day, Gov. Cuomo announced on Friday.

Amid a post-holiday decline in COVID cases and hospitalizations, the governor said Friday during a briefing in Albany that Big Apple eateries can once again serve food and drink indoors at 25% capacity beginning Feb. 14.

Cuomo barred indoor dining in the five boroughs in December as COVID-19 cases spiked. Struggling eateries were forced to offer takeout or outdoor seating during the holiday season.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

The announcement comes days after Cuomo said he was “not contemplating” reversing the current ban on serving customers inside.

While restaurants upstate remain capped at 50% capacity, Cuomo said earlier in the week he’s not ready to lift a 10 p.m. curfew that applies statewide to establishments that serve alcohol, arguing that late-night revelry could become a problem.

“That is something we’re looking at, but not at this time,” he said Wednesday. “When you keep the restaurants open late that tends to be more problematic, tends to be more crowded, tends to be more drinking.”

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