Restaurants Rejoice: NY Dining Curfews to Be Lifted in May

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The midnight curfew for restaurants will be lifted on May 17 for outdoor dining and May 31 for indoor dining, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday.

In addition, the 1 a.m. curfew for catered events that require proof of vaccination or a recent, negative Covid-19 test will be lifted on May 17. All catered event curfews will be lifted on May 31, and catered events can resume in residences on May 3 while following state guidance.

“Everything we’ve been doing is working — all the arrows are pointing in the right direction and now we’re able to increase economic activity even more,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Lifting these restrictions for restaurants, bars, and catering companies will allow these businesses that have been devastated by the pandemic to begin to recover as we return to a new normal in a post-pandemic world.

“To be clear: we will only be able to maintain this progress if everyone gets the COVID vaccine,” he added. “It is the weapon that will the war and we need everyone to take it; otherwise, we risk going backward.”

Restaurants are not the only industry seeing an easing of Covid-19 restrictions. On Monday, Cuomo announced capacity increases at casinos and gaming facilities, which will go from 25 to 50 percent; gyms and fitness centers, which will go from 33 to 50 percent; and offices, which will go from 50 to 75 percent, on May 15. Restaurants on Long Island remain at 75 percent capacity.

The lifting of Covid-19 restrictions comes as the governor also announces 45 percent of New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose. He has also announced that all state-run vaccination sites will accept walk-ins for residents 16 and older starting Thursday.

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