If coronavirus cases stay at a stable level, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said eateries in the Big Apple will be able to open again for indoor dining starting on Valentine’s Day at restricted volume, CNBC reported.
Eateries in New York City were told to shut indoor dining starting in mid-December during a jump in coronavirus cases that had been expected to become more severe over the holidays. Dining establishments have only been able to sell to diners for delivery and carryout in addition to providing seating outside.
“I think it’s great that our restaurants have come back, but we need tight protocols, regular inspections, to make sure people are safe,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNBC.
In New York City, the positivity rate, which is the share of all coronavirus tests coming back with a positive result, has fallen to a bit under 5 percent as of Jan. 28 from a 7.1 percent on Jan. 5. “All the models project that number to continue to drop,” the governor said at a press briefing in Albany, the state capital.
The news comes as Cuomo has lifted coronavirus limitations, but the surfacing of more contagious versions could end that.
The holiday surge from New Year’s and Christmas seems to be over, reaching a high on Jan. 4 when the positivity rate in New York reached 8 percent throughout the state.
Cuomo said he’d remove restrictions throughout the state for gatherings and some nonessential business with the exception of parts of the greater New York City area such as Queens, the Bronx and Washington Heights, in addition to the Newburgh area upstate.
New strains of the virus, which have been appearing in the country in recent weeks, are “a real concern” and the coronavirus threat is “not over,” the governor emphasized. A recent study indicated that the British strain could become the dominant version by March.