NEW YORK - Keeping in line with capacity limitations in neighboring New Jersey due to the pandemic, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that restaurants in New York City could increase their capacity, too.
Beginning Feb. 26, restaurants are allowed to admit more patrons and staff at a 35% capacity limit. The current capacity limit is 25%.
Cuomo said that many New Yorkers had been going to eat in New Jersey where the capacity is already at 35%, thus defeating the purpose of limiting capacity to 25%.
"What's happening now is that people in New York City, Staten Island, Manhattan, are going to New Jersey to those restaurants so it's not really accomplishing a purpose," said Cuomo.
Restaurants in the rest of the state are allowed to operate at 50% capacity, as Cuomo says they do not face the same density issues ones in New York City do.
Smaller restaurants in the city say that the change won't make much of a difference, however, as they will only be able to add perhaps one or two extra tables.
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Indoor dining had been prohibited since mid-December when COVID-19 cases started surging.
Restaurant owners have argued that the limited seating capacity still makes it hard for them to make ends meet.