ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a telephone conference with media Tuesday where he shed some light on the state’s outdoor dining guidelines regsarding alcohol service, and also announced the addition of 10 more states to the travel advisory; bringing the list to 31 states where travelers need to self-quarantine after traveling from areas of high infection rates.
On the state’s alcohol service rule that requires food orders, the governor said there has been confusion and clarified that bars we’re never allowed independently.
“We never authorized bar operations,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Bars are where people congregate. We don’t have separate bar and restaurant licenses. It’s a single license for bars and restaurants. We said outdoor dining was allowed, and we facilitated outdoor dining to help restaurants. Outdoor dining is not a bar operation, the word is dining. You don’t dine when you go to a restaurant to drink; that is drinking. We didn’t authorize outdoor drinking.”
The governor reiterated again that bars tend to have people congregating, which is a violation of social distancing orders. Gov. Cuomo said that he understands that businesses are just trying to open, but social distancing needs to be followed.
The governor said that enforcement of the compliance relies on local governments, but added that the New York State Liquor Authority is also taking on more of the enforcement responsibility, including 27 licence suspensions statewide and 410 charges being brought forth against establishments who weren’t complying.
“It’s a high rate of suspension, but it’s a serious situation,” Gov. Cuomo said. “It’s unfortunate that the good businesses are being punished by the bad.”
The governor also said Tuesday marked day 143 of the pandemic in New York, and of some 66,000 tests conducted Monday, about 1.2% came back positive. The governor said that there were 724 virus hospitalizations statewide, up eight from the day prior, and the governor said two deaths throughout the whole state was a “milestone” for New Yorkers.
“A significant milestone for me, and all New Yorkers — we only had two deaths from COVID-19 yesterday,” Gov. Cuomo said. “New Yorkers saved lives with what they did, and I hope they realize that. They did it, no one else did it. People working together, 19 million people working together, because they cared about each other. I congratulate all New Yorkers and I’m proud to be one.”
Before he ended the call, Cuomo was asked a question about college athletics. He said that crowds could not be in attendance, as that would be considered a large social gathering. However, athletics could be played and be televised without fans.