Bar patrons patronize an establishment in Huntington after outdoor dining was allowed to resume. (Photo by Mira Lerner)

Long Island restaurants remain open for indoor dining despite eateries in New York City reverting to outdoor dining only for at least two weeks as of Monday amid a spike in coronavirus cases, officials say.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has cited the rising Covid-19 and related hospitalization rates in the city and an inappropriately high rate of transmission as the key reasons for ceasing indoor dining, which had been limited to 25% capacity. The governor warned that if cases continue to surge, dining could revert to takeout only as it di in the spring.

“I will do everything I can to keep [restaurants] open and operating, safely,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said. “We must help our businesses, small and large, recover from the financial devastation of this pandemic. I will continue to do everything I can to limit restrictions on our restaurants and keep businesses and schools open.”

Curran and city restaurateurs noted that 74 percent of new infections are coming from private household gatherings while 1.4 percent are coming from restaurants and bars, despite moving dining indoors with the change in weather.

The governor suggested that while there would be hardship from the loss of indoor dining in NYC, he expressed hope that the expansion of outdoor dining and the acclimation of New Yorkers to it, even in colder months, might help the businesses get through the difficult period.

Curran noted that bars and restaurants may struggle to keep temporary outdoor structures open this week when a nor’easter is forecast to dump more than a foot of snow are parts of the Island.

“I’m hearing some anxiety from our restaurant owners,” Curran said. “I think some of them will be taking them down, they’ll be taking precautions.”

-With amNY Metro

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