New COVID-19 restrictions affecting restaurants, bars and gyms go into effect tonight
New COVID-19 restrictions go into effect later tonight in an effort to stop the rising cases of coronavirus in the area.
Beginning tonight, all bars, restaurants with liquor licenses and gyms must close by 10 p.m.
This week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that due to an increase in positive coronavirus cases across New York, new restrictions would have to be put back in place. He hopes the restrictions will help drive down the surge in new cases as experts fear we are now entering a second wave.
It's not the complete shutdown that happened back in March, but the restrictions are an impact to many business owners who have struggled to survive over the past eight months.
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This is especially rough for the bars and restaurants because for many spots, 10 p.m. is when things really start to get going, especially on the weekends.
This would also normally be the time bars and restaurants gear up for the holiday season because it’s a lucrative time, so these restrictions come at a bad time for them.
Also, many of these places have spent money to build outdoor areas to make up for the limited capacity they are allowed to have indoors. But the weather will soon be just be too cold to be outside, even with outdoor heating lamps, many businesses have bought.
But according to Cuomo, gatherings in places like bars, parties and restaurants are where these surges in positive cases across the state are stemming from.
Also part of the new restrictions, Cuomo says New Yorkers can only have up to 10 people in their home, which has many outraged who are calling it government overreach.
But not everyone agrees. Many say they believe the restrictions placed on private homes is a violation of constitutional rights. They add that it’s unfair to hurt business owners who have worked so hard to make safety adjustments during the pandemic.
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In the meantime, business owners say they'll do their best to keep their establishments alive.
"We felt this sense of a win that you've gotten to this point, and to be here and kind of have to start all over again at the starting point is difficult," says Steve Pinn, assistant manager of Alex Lounge Bar and Grill.
Under these new restrictions, curbside food pickup and delivery will be allowed after 10 p.m.
Alcohol will not be available for to-go orders.
There's no word as to how long the new rules will be in place.