There was a lot of chatter this week about whether New York City would be able to allow indoor dining for its restaurants after Sept. 30, after shuttering to keep the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) low. On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) said it was not going to happen. Today, he reversed course and said restaurants in the Big Apple would be allowed to operate at 25 percent indoor capacity after Sept. 30. There are some caveats, including:
- Serve customers at a maximum of 25% capacity
- Conduct temperature checks at every front door
- Collect Test & Trace data from at least one customer at each table
- Close bar tops for seating
- Offer COVID-19 protections like PPE for employees
- Space tables six feet apart
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement: “We are continuing New York City’s economic recovery by bringing back indoor dining. Working with the state and public health officials, we’ve achieved a plan that puts health and safety first by including strict capacity limits, a close monitoring of citywide positive testing rates and a coordinated inspection regimen. Science will guide our decision-making as we continue to monitor progress and health care indicators over the next three weeks to ensure a safe reopening. This may not look like the indoor dining that we all know and love, but it is progress for restaurant workers and all New Yorkers.”
If infection rates are less than 2 percent by Nov. 1, Cuomo says, he would reassess and possibly bump up the capacity to 50 percent. New York City was the only place in the state of New York that has not been able to reopen for indoor dining. As of press time, the infection rate in the city is less than 1 percent.
Sources closely following this developing story include:
For its part, Pest Management Professional will continue to explore how this bill may have an impact on the New York pest management scene — particularly as it pertains to rodent control. You’ll see more coverage about this in our September issue, but in the meantime, check out our previous coverage on when rodents and politics collide with “Industry advocates weigh in on California’s proposed rodenticide ban” and “California rodenticide ban bill awaits governor’s signature.” We are also interested in what NYC pest management professionals think of this development. Please comment below or email me if you want to share your opinion.