Once indoor dining resumed in the city for the second time in late February, restaurants and bars then operated under a midnight curfew, with capacity restrictions in place. But now that curfew is gone, which means you can stay at the table, inside, as long as you’d like (or until the owner kicks you out). The curfew for all catered events is lifted as well.
This is all happening as the statewide seven-day average COVID-19 positivity rate is below dropped to .7% — a new record low and a 55-day streak of decline.
But sadly, 18 people in the state died Sunday from the virus. Meanwhile, hospitalizations are dropping to 1,068, the lowest number since Oct. 25.
In a statement, Gov. Cuomo Cuomo said lifting the curfew is part of the major steps taken this month to reopen the state's economy. He said state and local authorities will continue to make sure businesses and venues continue to follow "basic safety guidelines."
"Like every other milestone of our reopening, the end of curfew for indoor dining is the result of New Yorkers banding together, practicing safety precautions and getting vaccinated, so we can defeat the virus and work our way towards a new normal," Cuomo said. "Our reopening approach has always been data-based and if we want to stay on our current trajectory, we need to remain vigilant across the board — especially when it comes to indoor activities."
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The NYC Hospitality Alliance for several weeks has been calling for the lifting of the curfew. The alliance advocates for restaurants and nightlife in New York City. Executive director Andrew Rigie called that "critically important."
"We're a 24/7 city, so there's tons of people that would still be out eating and drinking after midnight," Rigie said in an interview with the AP earlier this month.
Cuomo's office also announced on Monday that more than 19 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the state.
"We continue to make progress and we are on the verge of defeating COVID-19 for good, but it's vital that we continue to get as many shots in arms as we can," Cuomo said in a statement. "We're establishing new pop-up sites across the state and are offering incentives to encourage those who haven't yet received a shot to take it.
With The Associated Press.