Question: Do you foresee any reasonable possibility of a return to indoor dining this year in the city?
Mayor: There's not a context for indoor dining. We're never saying it's impossible. But, based on what we've seen around the world, we do not have a plan for reopening indoor dining in the near term. Hong Kong started to have a resurgence directly related to indoor dining and bars and had to close them down. We’ve seen it in Europe lately as well.
Lehrer: I heard somebody say, if you can open schools and we have a one quarter of one percent positivity rate in the city now, then you should be able to let the restaurateurs open with limited percentage indoor dining, that they could do that safely. You want to give one more response?
Mayor: I ask the health experts this constantly. Obviously, we do care about the huge number of people that work in the restaurant industry. I want them back to work. A lot of the problem comes from going back to the normal reality we knew with indoor dining. I wish it wasn't true. It just is true. There's a night and day reality between a school and indoor dining. We are obligated to provide our kids an education. We can't do that effectively without some in-person instruction. We can make sure everyone's wearing a mask, we have tons of safety precautions that we run as the public sector and we control. We don't control what happens inside a restaurant or a bar at every hour. We know people don't wear masks in restaurants and bars; by definition, you're eating and drinking. The chance of transmission goes up greatly. I wish it wasn't true, I'm not happy about it, but it's just the truth, and New Yorkers actually prefer the blunt truth.
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