Update: Indoor dining at New York City restaurants will close Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Friday, citing the rise in Covid-19 cases.
Restaurants can continue takeout and curbside delivery and outdoor service can continue,.
In recent weeks, Cuomo has blamed the surge in cases and deaths on large part on family and home gatherings–“living-room spread” over the holidays– for about 70 percent of the cases.
“Another forced government closure of New York City restaurants will cause an irreversible harm on even countless more small businesses and the hundreds of thousands of workers they employ, especially if it is not coupled with financial relief,” Andrew Rigie, the executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, told The New York Times.
There was no word on whether Long Island restaurants, currently operating at a maximum 50 percent, will have to reduce its capacity. New York City restaurants had been at 25 percent.
Cuomo said that beginning Friday and extending through April, e-commerce company Ritual will offer its commission-free digital ordering platform Ritual ONE to New York’s restaurants and food service businesses at no cost, for pickup and delivery. Additionally, PayPal has committed $1 million towards discounted purchases for customers of participating businesses on Ritual ONE in February 2021, at no expense to the businesses. This follows the Governor’s extension of the moratorium on commercial evictions to support restaurants and small businesses.
“New York State is a global food capital and its world-class chefs, servers and staff have been among the COVID-19 pandemic’s hardest-hit workforce during this global pandemic. It’s critical that while restrictions are in place on how bars and restaurants can operate in order to protect the public health, we also open new opportunities to counteract the economic strain they face,” Cuomo said.
Restaurants and food service businesses that join Ritual through the Empire State Digital initiative will be able to accept touch-free payments from customers using their PayPal and Venmo apps, and will not be subject to Ritual processing fees for a limited time. Ritual will waive its set-up, monthly subscription and credit-card processing fees. Terms and conditions apply. Businesses may opt out at any time without penalty.
We need a national strategy to fight this disease and to distribute the vaccine widely when it becomes available.
What that must include is focused, concentrated intervention in communities of color.
Thank you @NYGovCuomo for having us at today’s press conference. pic.twitter.com/bTdQes6ORd
— Congressmember Bass (@RepKarenBass) December 11, 2020
This story will update