Cuomo’s Valentine’s Day Gift to NY: Restaurant Closing Times Extended 1 Hour

young woman at bar accurate pours cold cocktail into glass.
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Owners of New York’s restaurants and bars received more good news Friday: They’ll be able to stay open an hour later as of Sunday night.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he’s extended the 10 p.m. mandated closing time for bars and restaurants by an hour, to 11 p.m., as of Feb. 14. 

“Our decisions are based on science and data and we adjust as the virus adjusts,” Cuomo said. “We will continue to follow the science and react accordingly. If we keep the infections down and vaccinations up, we will continue to stay ahead in the footrace against this invisible enemy.”

The early closing times were originally enacted to curb the spread of coronavirus. The extension comes as New York City’s eateries were permitted to restore indoor dining, at 25 percent normal capacity, on Friday amid an continued downturn in the spread of Covid-19. The changes come ahead of the Valentine’s Day holiday weekends, which is traditionally one of the busiest weekends for restaurants and bars.

Advocates for the restaurant industry, including Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, welcomed the extended curfew.

“After a year of incredible economic hardships, every guest counts right now. Loosening the curfew will allow operators to comfortably seat guests at 9 p.m., bringing in business that had previously been cut off,” she said in a statement. “We’re grateful for another step forward and we thank Governor Cuomo for listening to our members and continuing to work alongside the industry to reopen.”

This story first appeared on amny.com

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