NEW YORK — Indoor dining in New York City will close beginning Monday amid the rising spread of COVID-19 increased hospitalizations linked to the virus, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.
“We said that we would watch it if the hospitalization rate didn’t stabilize, we would close indoor dining. It is not,” Cuomo said.
Outdoor dining and takeout will continue, he added.
The increasing rate of transmission has been a problem, especially in densely populated areas, Cuomo said.
The governor added that the state will monitor indoor dining data in areas outside of New York City and orange zones. Adjustments will be made next week if needed.
When asked about a timeline on reopening the city's indoor dining, Cuomo's team said the state will be looking over cases and hospitalizations over the next two weeks.
Earlier this week, Cuomo said any region with an unstable hospitalization rate for more than five days would see new restrictions on indoor dining.
He said New York City would see a full closure on indoor dining while regions outside of the city would see a reduction to 25% capacity.
Amid the announcement of closing indoor dining, Cuomo called on the federal government to provide restaurants and bars with relief in the next stimulus package.
The state will do what it can to assist these businesses, including extending the commercial eviction moratorium, Cuomo said.
“So, if a business can’t pay rent because of this situation, they won’t be evicted,” he said.
The adjustments restaurants have made are "remarkable," Cuomo added.
Heat lamps and partial enclosures are working, according to the governor, but he hopes that indoor dining closures will only be for a short period of time.
"I understand they're going to sustain economic damage, and I think the federal government should reimburse them for it. If the state is in a position to reimburse them for it, we will," he said.
Restrictions on gyms and salons appear to be working and are not as much of a problem, so those businesses will be allowed to operate in orange zones with increased testing and regulations, Cuomo said.
Capacity will be reduced to 25% and weekly testing will be mandated if in an orange zone.
This story was originally published by Mark Sundstrom and Kristine Garcia on WPIX in New York City.