Senate, Cuomo Allow New York Bars to Almost Return to Normal
On the same day, Gov. Cuomo and New York lawmakers announced a number of new COVID-related for New York bars and restaurants.
On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the midnight food and beverage service curfew will be lifted for outdoor dining areas beginning May 17 and for indoor dining areas beginning May 31.
Cuomo also announced that starting May 3, seating at bars will be allowed in New York City, consistent with the food services guidance that is in effect statewide.
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The news comes the same day the New York State Senate officially voted to suspend several executive orders placed by the Governor at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, including requiring people to buy food if they want to drink at a restaurant or bar.
“I’ve yet to find any scientific literature that finds a correlation between ordering food with your drink, and stopping the spread of COVID-19," Sen. John Mannion (D-Syracuse) said during the chamber debate, according to the New York Post.
A press release from the New York State Senate did not say if the new rule goes into effect right away.
"As more New Yorkers continue to get vaccinated, and our infection rates continue to decline, it is time to begin removing certain restrictions and regulations that are no longer necessary, so we can safely reopen and rebuild our state's economy," Senate Majority Leader and President Pro Tempore Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
Governor Cuomo also announced that the 1 a.m. curfew for catered events where attendees have provided proof of vaccination status or a recent negative COVID-19 test result will be lifted beginning May 17, with the curfew for all catered events set to be lifted May 31.
Additionally, Cuomo announced that catered events can resume at residences beginning May 3 above the State's residential gathering limit of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, as long as the events are staffed by a professional, licensed caterer, permitted by the respective locality or municipality, and strictly adhere to health and safety guidance, including social and event gathering limits, masks, and social distancing.
Also on May 3, the guidance for dancing among attendees at catered events will be aligned with neighboring states, replacing fixed dance zones for each table with social distancing and masks.
This announcement comes after Cuomo issued a number of other COVID-related rollbacks. You can see all those below.