NYC indoor dining, personal care services, gyms, fitness centers to expand capacity

The indoor dining capacity in New York City and that of hair salons, barbershops, and other personal care services can expand to 75% beginning May 7, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

Citing increased control of the spread of the coronavirus, the governor said in a news release on Friday that gyms and fitness centers could expand to 50% capacity beginning May 15.

Social distancing and mask-wearing will be required.

"After a long and incredibly difficult fight, New York State is winning the war against COVID-19, and that means it's time to loosen some restrictions put in place to protect the public health and help our local businesses," said Cuomo.

The governor also announced he would rescind the executive order that created a micro-cluster zone strategy.

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"There's no doubt that restaurants have been among the pandemic's hardest-hit businesses, and New York City's thriving restaurant industry has found it challenging to keep staff and maintain profits. We're easing restrictions on restaurants, personal care services and gyms to put more money in the pockets of small business owners and working people in New York City, which was hit so hard by the pandemic but, I have no doubt, will come back stronger than ever," said Cuomo.

On March 16, 2020, Cuomo announced the first ban on indoor dining in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

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Restaurants reopened in June. On Sept. 30, Cuomo allowed indoor dining to resume at 25%. On Dec. 14, indoor dining was banned again until Feb. 12, 2021, when it resumed at 25% capacity. 

Earlier this week, Cuomo announced that would be allowed to stay open for regular operating hours and seating would be allowed at bars in New York City beginning next month.