New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that New York City could open up indoor dining for Valentines Day. However, the reopening is contingent on coronavirus positivity rates.
Cuomo said as long as the state continues its downward trend of COVID-19 cases, restaurants could open for indoor dining at 25% capacity on Feb. 14. He also said wedding receptions could be held starting March 15, at 50% capacity with guidelines in place.
Update on indoor dining in NYC:
If positivity rates hold we will reopen indoor dining at 25% capacity on Valentine’s Day – February 14.
In addition to reduced capacity, mandatory safety guidelines will be in place.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 29, 2021
“As data on infection rates and hospitalizations continue to improve, we must begin taking steps to jumpstart our economic recovery as long as public health can be protected,” Cuomo said. “The restaurant industry is the lifeblood of New York City and the economic hardship they have endured at the hands of COVID is nothing short of tragic.”
New York City was hard hit by the pandemic last spring. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the city reported approximately 203,000 cases in the first three months; 18,679 people died. But the city flattened the curve shortly after and had the virus under some control but it didn’t last.
The governor suspended indoor dining on Dec. 14. Like in much of the country, as temperatures dropped, cases began to climb. There were a reported 7,897 cases on Jan. 4. But case numbers have been declining since early January.
“This is a great development, but we cannot become complacent now,” Cuomo said. “We must all continue to do our part to keep beating back COVID-19 so we can continue re-opening our economy and get back to normal.”