March 10, 2021 By Allie Griffin
New York City eateries will be permitted to increase indoor dining to 50 percent capacity starting on March 19, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.
Cuomo upped the capacity from its current level of 35 percent in a joint announcement with Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey. Murphy said New Jersey eateries would be allowed the same increase–to 50 percent.
Outside of the city, restaurants across New York state will be able to fill their dining rooms to 75 percent capacity starting March 19. Those restaurant are currently allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity.
“In New York State, our decisions are based on science and data and we are encouraged by the continued decline in infection and hospitalization rates,” Cuomo said in a statement. “In partnership with the State of New Jersey, we are expanding our indoor dining openings in New York City to 50 percent.”
New York City restaurant owners have been pleading with Cuomo to increase indoor capacity to 50 percent for weeks after he first allowed indoor dining to resume in the city at 25 percent capacity last month.
Since New York City indoor dining was reopened on Feb. 12, there hasn’t been a significant rise in infection and hospitalization rates, according to the state.
“We will continue to follow the science and react accordingly,” Cuomo said. “If we keep the infections down and vaccinations up, we will continue to stay ahead in the footrace against this invisible enemy and reach the light at the end of the tunnel together.”