COVID-19: NYC Quote of the Day 2020-09-09

Wednesday, September 9, 2020, NYS Gov. Cuomo - Indoor Dining at 25% in NYC on September 30

The SLA and the New York State Police have a special task force that is working on compliance on bars. Compliance on bars has increased dramatically from when we started. Why? Because if you know someone is going to check, if you know there's monitoring, people tend to increase compliance. For a bar or a restaurant, if you lose your liquor license, that is very serious business. The bad actors who were violating the rules now know they could very well lose their license.

I want to thank New Yorkers for the increase in compliance, and because the compliance has gotten better we can now take the next step. That takes us to restaurants. A restaurant is not just the restaurant owner. Restaurant is the kitchen staff, the wait staff, there's a whole industry around restaurants. And restaurants also pose a possible risk, concentrations of people inside, indoor dining. But there's also a great economic loss when they don't operate.

We had a caution flag with restaurants and indoor dining for two reasons. Number one, we're doing indoor dining at 50 percent across the rest of the state. We have seen clusters outbreak from restaurants. Second, we knew that compliance was lacking in New York City. We've been speaking with stakeholders, we're now announcing today that we can go to 25 percent of indoor dining with certain restrictions that will be enacted on September 30th.

Indoor dining, the rules will be temperature checks for anyone who comes in at the door, one member of each party has to leave information, phone number, email, so that there's contact tracing information if there is an outbreak.

No bar service. They can make drinks, they can transfer them over the bar, but nobody will be sitting at the bar.

Masks must be worn at all times except when you're sitting at the table.

All tables must be six feet apart.

Restaurants will close at midnight.

Restaurants will have the enhanced air filtration requirement that is specified in the State guidance. There will be limited air recirculation, we want air from the outside to provide additional ventilation. Outdoor dining can continue along with 25% of indoor dining.

How do you do compliance? The State will expand the SLA State Police Task Force. New York City will provide ultimately 400 code enforcement inspectors to work with that task force. The number of places that are going to have to be checked for compliance are about 10 thousand. So, even with the State expanding the task force and the City adding 400 code compliance inspectors to that task force, 10 thousand is still a very large universe. So, I have a new idea to assist with compliance: New Yorkers themselves will help with compliance. New Yorkers will keep New Yorkers safe.

The Restaurant Association and New York State will run public service announcements asking New Yorkers to be part of the compliance of this 25 percent rule. New Yorkers, I'm asking to report violations of that 25 percent capacity. We call it "New Yorkers Protecting New Yorkers." We'll have a special alert text number that will go to the task force. And we ask people if you're in a restaurant and you see more than 25 percent in that restaurant and indoor dining, you text the violation, the information, to the task force; it will all be anonymous. The restaurant will not know that you were the one who provided information, but it will help that task force, because then the task force can send an inspector to that specific restaurant. Every restaurant will post their 25 percent capacity of indoor dining. Every restaurant will post that text number where people can report the violation.

I believe in New Yorkers' ability to do the right thing.
Edited for redundancy, grammar, and emphasis
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