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Cuomo To Lift Food, Beverage Service Curfew

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Shannon Stapleton/Pool via AP)

The state’s 12 a.m. food and beverage service curfew will be lifted for outdoor dining areas beginning May 17 and for indoor dining areas beginning May 31.

The announcement came before state legislators were expected to take up legislation ending Cuomo’s directive that diners must purchase food in order to be served alcohol.

Governor Andrew Cuomo also announced on Wednesday 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 said 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.

Finally, the Governor 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.

“We know the COVID positivity rate is a function of our behavior, and over the last year New Yorkers have remained disciplined and continued with the practices we know work to stop the spread of the virus,” Cuomo said. “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. 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. It is the weapon that will will the war and we need everyone to take it, otherwise we risk going backward.”

Governor also announced that capacities would be increased throughout several industries that have proven to safely reopen in accordance with the State’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, starting May 15:

• Gyms and fitness centers outside of New York City will increase from 33% to 50% capacity.

• Casinos and gaming facilities will increase from 25% to 50% capacity.

• Offices will increase from 50% to 75% capacity.

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