Stricter Bar, Restaurant COVID-19 Rules Announced For New York
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said we are in a "man-made" second wave and announced many new regulations for all New York bars and restaurants.
"We failed to learn the lessons of the first wave," Cuomo said on Thursday during a phone conference call on COVID-19. "This is a second wave, but it is a man-made second wave. This is a situation where we just failed to learn the lessons of the first wave. It's going to be man-made and self-created. There's no reason for it, Cuomo said.
Cuomo said this "second-wave" is really just the rebound of the first wave. He fears the second-wave is going to come from the west and hit New York.
"This is just a rebound of the first wave, rather than the first wave coming from the east and hitting New York, the wave is going to come from the west and hit New York," he said.
Cuomo said New York's numbers are good but he's very concerned about a "second-wave" from other states.
"We had seven months to get ready. Many places in this country are as unprepared as they were seven months ago."
He said about 1 percent of COVID-19 tests conducted on Wednesday came back positive and 14 New Yorkers died from the virus in the past 24 hours.
Cuomo announced there will be additional regulations on bars and restaurants in New York City. A new three strikes and your "closed" policy.
He said after three violations a business will be closed immediately in New York City.
"That is a primary area we're seeing problems with compliance. "There is significant evidence of failure to comply. The state itself has looked at more than 5,000 establishments in downstate New York and found many cases of failure to comply," Cuomo said.
He also announced bars and restaurants across New York State can only serve alcohol to people who also order food and there will be no walk-up bar service.
"If you're not eating a meal, and you're just drinking, then it's just an outdoor bar and people are mingling, and they're not isolated at individual tables," he said.
Later during the briefing, New York State Budget Director Rob Mujica confirmed the new rules regarding only allowing alcohol to be purchased when eating and walk-up bar applies statewide.
Hours later a press release provided a little more information. All restaurants and bars statewide will be subject to new requirements that they must only serve alcohol to people who are ordering and eating food and that all service at bar tops must only be for seated patrons who are socially distanced by six feet or separated by physical barriers. Under current law, only establishments that serve food are permitted to serve alcoholic beverages.
He said a decision will be made Friday around 4 p.m. about New York City entering Phase 4.