Judge temporarily allows indoor dining in orange cluster zones
New York is temporarily allowing indoor dining in orange cluster zones.
Restaurants in Port Chester's orange zone haven't been able to offer indoor dining since November.
The state is now allowing indoor and outdoor dining - with up to four people at a table.
It comes after a state supreme court judge ruled in favor of allowing restaurants in Erie County to temporarily operate under yellow zone status.
Restaurant Aqui Es Santa Fe and others say outdoor dining just isn't an option due to the cold, and that they've essentially been closed all this time.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office made the changes to keep up with consistency, but says it disagrees with the court's decision, adding that data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows indoor dining increases COVID-19 spread. However, last month Cuomo said restaurants and bars contributed to about 1.4% of new cases of COVID-19.
It's a small number compared to family gatherings, which state data said accounted for 74%.
"I've been a staunch supporter of what Gov. Cuomo did in the beginning and his science-first approach, but the science didn't back closing our businesses and this set of closures was so much harder on businesses than the first one," says Carlos Santos, the owner of Aqui Es Santa Fe.
Gov. Cuomo's office says it is reviewing the ruling.
The parties will have to go back to court to determine if the injunction will become permanent.
The owner of Asi Es Colombia bakery and restaurant on North Main Street says they've lost about 80% of their business. The owner says if things back track to the way they were, with indoor dining banned, the owner will have to shut his doors for good after being a Port Chester business for nearly two decades. "I mean if that happens, we'll have to pack and just leave because we can't take it anymore," says Ruben Alzate.