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Cuomo expands New York City indoor dining capacity to 50%

Bradley Stein, DCNF

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that New York City restaurants will expand their indoor dining capacity from 35% to 50% as of March 19.

“In New York State, our decisions are based on science and data and we are encouraged by the continued decline in infection and hospitalization rates. In partnership with the State of New Jersey, we are expanding our indoor dining openings in New York City to 50 percent,” said Cuomo in a joint statement with Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

The New York Democrat’s announcement to expand indoor dining capacity comes after multiple allegations of sexual harassment and mounting calls for his resignation.

“In New Jersey, we will continue to move deliberately, responsibly and incrementally, guided by public health data. We feel confident in this step given the improving metrics we have seen over the last several weeks in both New Jersey and New York City,” Murphy said in the announcement.

Thousands of New York City eateries were barred from offering indoor dining to patrons until just a few weeks ago when Cuomo announced New York City restaurants could reopen at 25% capacity on Feb. 12.

Nick Zippilli, the owner of West Side Steakhouse in Manhattan, expressed his appreciation for Cuomo’s decision, but stressed that the new 50% capacity doesn’t go far enough to help restaurants still struggling from the economic effects of last year’s COVID-19 lockdowns. 

“It’s ok, but it’s not enough. This business is tough enough at 100%. We have to open at 100% to make this work,” said Zippilli in a phone interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

While New York and New Jersey are partially reopening, other states such as Texas have announced plans to reopen at 100% capacity.

New York restaurants outside of New York City are set to expand their indoor dining capacity from 50% to 75% starting on March 19, according to the New York Post.

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