Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be allowing restaurants and bars to operate indoors until midnight starting April 19 as vaccinations across the state reach a height of 39 percent and infection rates remain low.
The curfew for catered events has also been extended from midnight to 1 a.m., Cuomo said during a call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, while also urging sustained vigilance against the virus.
“We talked about adjusting the valve between economic activity and economic constraint, depending on how we’re doing with Covid,” he said. “At the same time, we caution New Yorkers: Don’t get cocky. The disease is still very much with us. You see it escalating in some states, you see it escalating in some countries. We have to stay smart until COVID is crushed and it won’t be crushed until we get herd immunity and we won’t get herd immunity until we finish vaccinating everyone. That’s where we are.”
Long Island’s restaurant industry remains hard-hit by the pandemic. To mediate losses, both Nassau and Suffolk counties have established restaurant recovery programs offering small business loans to food establishments. While the current curfew is 11 p.m., it is unclear if the hour difference will give businesses the boost they need to remain open.
Indoor capacity remains at 75 percent for Long Island restaurants.
The extended restaurant curfew comes as Long Island has now fully vaccinated more than 580,000 residents, and more than 950,000 Long Islanders have received at least one first dose. Long Island’s Covid-19 infection rate on a 7-day average is 3.71 percent.
-Briana Bonfiglio and Mark Hallum
Related Story: Long Island Indoor Dining Increased to 75% Capacity
For more food and drink coverage, visit longislandpress.com/category/food-drink.