photo credit: Teddy Wolff
Governor Cuomo recently gave NYC restaurants the go-ahead to reopen for indoor dining at a reduced 25% capacity, starting on September 30th. Here’s what you can expect from restaurants who decide to reopen their indoor dining areas.
NYC Restaurants React To The Return Of Indoor Dining
What does 25% actually mean?
The reduced indoor capacity does not count any restaurant’s employees or the outdoor dining areas they may have set-up. Here’s a concrete example: Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint can typically seat 72 people in their dining room. With 25%, they’ll be able to seat 18 people inside.
A lot of NYC restaurants are tiny - what happens if they can’t seat people six feet apart?
If they can’t make the six-feet spacing work, restaurants are allowed to put up five-feet tall dividers in between tables. You may have seen some places use these for outdoor dining. They’re usually plexiglass.
Will I have to get my temperature taken?
Oh yes. Both diners and employees have to get screened before entering. If anyone has a temperature above 100 degrees, they’ll have to leave.
What’s the deal with contact tracing?
At least one person from every party needs to give the restaurant their full name, address, and phone number in case they need to be contacted.
After the party, is it the after party? And after the after party, is it the hotel lobby?
Whatever you’re insinuating...nope. Restaurants will have to close down at midnight. But if you’re already sitting down with food at that time, you get half an hour to finish your meal and leave.
Are bars reopening for indoor service?
Not on September 30th, at least. There’s no word about when bars will be able to allow people inside to drink. We’re going to guess it may be a while though - considering Cuomo seems to have zeroed in on bars as difficult to enforce compliance.
If a restaurant has a bar area, can I hang out there and drink?
Also no. These spaces have to turn into service-only bars, so you won’t be able to sit here and order a drink.
Is there a plan for increasing the number of people allowed inside?
Restaurants could be allowed to offer indoor service at a 50% reduced capacity by November 1st. Whether or not that happens will be based on the city’s infection rate, and how well restaurants comply with these indoor protocols.