New York City indoor dining resumes at 25% capacity, hours to be extended

Restaurant patrons in New York City finally have the option to hang up their winter gear and come inside for a bite to eat as indoor dining in the city has resumed at 25% capacity.

And Governor Cuomo says that restaurant and bar closing times will be extended to 11 p.m. statewide beginning on Sunday.  That is one hour later than the current curfew.

"The infection rate and hospitalizations have continued to significantly decline," Governor Cuomo said. "Accordingly, we have adjusted with arena and catering hall openings with rigorous testing and limited capacity indoor dining openings in New York City. We will continue to follow the science and react accordingly."

While the change is just in time for Valentine's Day on Sunday, the move hasn't pleased all restaurant owners, many of whom argue that the limited seating capacity will still make it hard for them to make ends meet.

Can I dine indoors in New York City?

Whether New Yorkers be willing to sit down and eat is unknown, but restauranteurs are taking extra steps to allow people to have a safe dining experience for Valentine's Day.

"This is home to a lot of people," said Massimo Lusardi, owner of UVA on the Upper East Side. "We're able to have our loyal customers get their home back."

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

Restaurants in New York City reopened in June. On Sept. 30, Cuomo allowed indoor dining to resume at 25%. On Dec. 14, indoor dining was banned again and has been ever since.

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Outdoor dining and takeout operations were allowed to continue but restaurant owners said that wasn't enough to ensure their survival.