Cuomo rejects allowing restaurants and bars to stay open late for Super Bowl

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo doubled down on his decision not to to lift a 10 p.m. dining curfew and allow establishments to stay open until midnight during a news briefing on Friday.

"No, we're not thinking about changing the curfew for Super Bowl Sunday," Cuomo said.

Cuomo says that extending the curfew is too risky and increases the possibility of spreading COVID-19.

The New York City Hospitality Alliance, however, says that Cuomo's words contradict the data and not extending the curfew could actually do more harm.

"It will force people from highly-regulated restaurants, which have bene shown not to be a major source of transmission, into unregulated living rooms which we know correelates directly with the significant rise in infection rates," Andrew Rigie, Executive Director of the NYCHA said in a statement.

The Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association had proposed a pilot program that would extend dining hours statewide on Super Bowl Sunday.

In a statement, the association said:  "Restaurant and tavern owners and their workers can safely operate their establishment at any time. Compliance with the government’s restrictions is dependent on their commitment to following the rules – and they can do that as well at 9 pm as they can do it at 11 pm."

The association said the state could assess compliance with the restrictions during the two-hour additional period and can then make an assessment about lifting the curfew, perhaps as soon as Valentine’s Day.

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"Lifting the curfew for even two hours would provide an additional table turn for restaurants and will let patrons stay to watch the end of the game," Scott Wexler, the association’s Executive Director, said.

The 10 p.m. curfew was imposed on November 13th as the state prepared for a surge in coronavirus cases tied to the holidays.  While cases remain high in New York, they have started dropping since mid-January.

New York City still has an indoor dining ban until Feb. 14 but the governor hinted that he might consider opening indoor dining a few days earlier to cover the entire Valentine's Day weekend.

New Jersey ended its own 10 p.m. ban starting on Friday.

"Now that New Jersey has lifted the 10 p.m. curfew and New Yorkers will have ready access to late-night dining, the economic impact of New York’s curfew becomes more pronounced," said Wexler.