New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced that restaurants in America’s largest city will once again be allowed to serve food indoors at the end of September. Coronavirus case counts have been extremely low in New York City for months now, but the move was still poised to raise concerns about a possible resurgence in a former COVID-19 epicenter. After all, it’s slated to go into effect as the country veers toward flu season, and some experts have feared that a surge in indoor gathering as weather cools may lead to intensified outbreaks.
While the New York area is now something of a model for pandemic control nationwide, the coronavirus pandemic has been tied to well over 20,000 deaths in New York City, and both NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Cuomo have been roundly criticized for failing to lock down the city until mid-March.
If nothing else, the announcement surely came as welcome news to a battered NYC restaurant industry, one that has struggled to get by in recent weeks by way of ramping up outdoor dining. New rules for indoor dining were slated to include temperature checks for everyone, a 25 percent occupancy limit, and at least one member of each dining party providing info for contact tracing down the line.