Governor Cuomo announced the new measure on Friday as a response to the second wave of COVID-19.

By Maria Yagoda
December 11, 2020
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Credit: AFP via Getty Images

On Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a move that many in the restaurant industry were waiting for: indoor dining would shut down for the second time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

As COVID-19 numbers in the city continue to rise as part of a second wave, restaurants will have to take measures similar to those of the pandemic's early days, when New York was the epicenter of the country's outbreak.

Cuomo, who said the shutdown of indoor dining would begin on Monday, acknowledged that federal lawmakers need to act quickly to save the struggling restaurant industry, as these new restrictions will be another economic blow against businesses that are barely hanging on.

"The federal government must provide relief to these bars and restaurants in this next package,” Mr. Cuomo said in his press conference. The governor also shared that as of Friday, there were 1,668 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in New York City, reaching numbers that warranted such a measure.

In the months following the city's first shutdown, indoor dining was one of the last things to come back during the reopening process, only returning in late September. Earlier this month, CDC officials stated that dining indoors was a "particularly high risk scenario."

An estimated 110,000 restaurants have closed this year due to the pandemic, and the number is expected to rise by 10,000 before the end of the year.

"The vast majority of permanently closed restaurants were well-established businesses, and fixtures in their communities," read a recent report from the National Restaurant Association. "On average these restaurants had been in business for 16 years, and 16% had been open for at least 30 years."