NEW YORK (AP) – Bars and restaurants no longer have to close at midnight across New York state, as its coronavirus curfew for indoor dining ended Monday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last month that the restriction would be lifted. With that, establishments can return to the closing times that their liquor licenses or other regulations allow.
A similar pandemic curfew for outdoor dining ended May 17, although some local governments have their own closing-time rules for outdoor tables.
Restaurateurs have been looking forward to the later hours as they try to recover from the shutdowns and other limitations on their business during the virus crisis.
“The lifting of the curfew is critically important,” the NYC Hospitality Alliance’s executive director, Andrew Rigie, said in an interview earlier this month. The alliance advocates for restaurants and nightlife in New York City.
“We’re a 24/7 city, so there’s tons of people that would still be out eating and drinking after midnight,” Rigie said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement about the curfew being lifted Monday:
“During the month of May we took major steps towards reopening our economy and as of May 31, we are lifting the midnight curfew on indoor dining for bars and restaurants across New York.
Like every other milestone of our reopening, the end of curfew for indoor dining is the result of New Yorkers banding together, practicing safety precautions and getting vaccinated, so we can defeat the virus and work our way towards a new normal.
Our reopening approach has always been data-based and if we want to stay on our current trajectory, we need to remain vigilant across the board – especially when it comes to indoor activities. As always, we will continue to work with our local partners to make sure venues are following basic safety guidelines.”