On Monday, February 8th, Governor Cuomo announced that indoor dining can actually begin on Friday, February 12h - two days earlier than the planned Valentine’s Day reopening date he set on January 29th. Consistent with the previous announcement, restaurants can reopen with a limited 25% capacity.
Cuomo explained that the reason for the earlier date is to help restaurants get “their staff oriented” before a “big Valentine’s Day” service. He also says this news comes as state COVID cases are down overall, even though, as of today, the city reports that NYC still has a 8.28% positivity rate over a seven-day average, which is nearly 3 percentage points higher than the city’s reported rate when NYC’s indoor dining shut down in December.
Cuomo did not heed any calls to extend the outdoor dining curfew from 10pm to midnight, despite demands from various NYC hospitality organizations.
In Albany holding a COVID briefing. Watch live: https://t.co/2fidP7aGe5— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) February 8, 2021
Meanwhile, not all restaurant owners say they’re ready to reopen. Some are consulting their staff to make a decision and some are completely opting out.
Being eligible for the vaccination is one thing, but actually securing an appointment is another. According to the state’s vaccine distribution info page, “it may be 14 or more weeks before an appointment is available." You can see for yourself here.
We’ll continue to update you as more information comes out - especially because this news is proof that our governor often changes his mind.