New York City has reopened indoor dining at full capacity, as of May 19. As the city’s notably high rates of COVID-19 infection have continued to fall—now at less than 5%—restrictions have been quickly lifting. Just recently increased to 75% capacity, restaurants are now permitted to open indoor dining to 100% capacity, so long as other restrictions, such as social distancing and mask-wearing are observed among staff and guests. If the establishment requires proof of vaccination or negative COVID test, then they move forward to 100% indoor dining capacity without additional restrictions.
Curfew restrictions have also been removed. Governor Cuomo announced that the midnight curfew on NYC restaurants and bars would be eliminated for outdoor dining starting this past May 17 and indoor dining starting on May 31. Bar seating, which has been prohibited since the city first shut down, returned on May 3 as part of the announcement.
With ramped up vaccination rollouts and the return of summer weather, it is a promising season for the restaurant and hospitality industries. And New York City restaurants reaching full capacity dining is a good indication that other cities will continue moving in the same direction.
National Restaurant Consultants CEO Richard Weil notes, “NYC certainly was the US epicenter of the initial COVID surge in 2020. It is an optimistic sign that the food service and hospitality industry continue to progress forward.”
He added, “While not every state, county or state will have the same guidance regarding mask-wearing and vaccination requests, it is noteworthy that, according to the CDC, 50% of all adults in the US have now been vaccinated. We remain extremely positive that our industry is roaring back. If you are seeking to improve your operations or open a new restaurant, now is a great time to utilize the resources to address your largest business needs.”
Have questions about reopening your restaurant and following new guidelines? Reach out to a restaurant consultant today.