At long last, New York is set to end its curfew on all food and beverage services across five boroughs next month. In an announcement on Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that on May 3rd, bar seating will make a comeback, and the current curfews will be lifted entirely for outdoor dining areas beginning May 17 and for indoor dining areas beginning May 31.
Restauranteurs are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with Cuomo’s all-new set of announcements which will potentially boost the food and nightlife landscape of New York City after more than one long year. Beginning May 17th, the 12 am outdoor dining curfew will end, followed by the lifting of the curfew on indoor dining on the 31st of May. Cuomo also said the 1 a.m. curfew for catered events where attendees have provided proof of immunization or a recent negative COVID-19 test will be lifted starting May 17, with the curfew for all catered events set to be lifted on May 31.
“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,” the governor said. “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 the war and we need everyone to take it, otherwise, we risk going backward.”
As per the Wednesday announcement, catered events can also resume at individual homes starting May 3 above the residential gathering limit of 10 people indoors (25 outdoors) if core COVID protocol is maintained. Fixed dance zones will come to catering halls the same day.
These decisions have come against the backdrop of the statewide rolling positivity rate standing at 2.02%, which is the lowest rolling average since Nov. 7. Meanwhile, hospitalizations are also at their lowest total (3,117) since Thanksgiving, and vaccination rates are rising.