Coronavirus: New York City restaurants can resume indoor dining on Sept 30, says governor

NEW YORK (REUTERS) – New York City restaurants will be able to resume indoor dining at 25 per cent capacity with some restrictions on Sept 30, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday (Sept 9), relaxing one of last big lockdown limitations on life in the nation’s most populous city.

Cuomo said the restrictions will include mandatory temperature checks at the door and requiring one member of each party to provide contact information for contact tracing should there be a Covid-19 outbreak originating from a restaurant.

The state, which has refrained from reopening restaurants in New York City due to concerns it would spread the novel coronavirus, could lift capacity to 50 per cent by a reassessment deadline of Nov 1 depending on infection rates, Cuomo said.

The governor told a news conference that the state would establish a whistleblowing system whereby patrons can anonymously report restaurants not in compliance by sending a text.

“New Yorkers themselves will help with compliance,” Cuomo said. “New Yorkers will keep new Yorkers safe.”

In a statement, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged that dining at 25 per cent capacity will not mark a full return to normal but characterised it as a starting point and a way to lift the city’s economy.

“We are continuing New York City’s economic recovery by bringing back indoor dining,” de Blasio said.

“This may not look like the indoor dining that we all know and love, but it is progress for restaurant workers and all New Yorkers.”

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