NY will increase capacity in restaurants from 50 to 75% starting March 19

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 March 2021 at 4:40 pm

NYC restaurants remain at 35% capacity

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that the state will allow restaurants to increase their indoor capacity from 50 to 75 percent beginning March 19. This is for restaurants outside New York City. In NYC, restaurants will remain at 35 percent capacity.

Cuomo said the declining number of Covid hospitalizations in the state and other progress in the pandemic shows that restaurants can operate safely with strict health protocols.

Cuomo today reported the positivity rate for Covid tests was 2.98 percent on Saturday and the number of Covid hospitalizations, at 4,789, was the lowest since Dec. 6.

“Our fight in the war against Covid-19 continues, but we are encouraged by the decrease in infection and hospitalization rates and the rise in vaccinations,” Cuomo said. “As we expand our vaccine distribution and celebrate the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, we have never been closer to defeating this beast once and for all. It is critical that New Yorkers not succumb to Covid fatigue and remain vigilant.”

Other states also are increasing restaurant capacity. Massachusetts went to 100 percent on March 1 and Connecticut will go to 100 percent on March 19.

“It’s not just good news for the restaurant owners,” Cuomo said. “Remember you have a lot of staff at restaurants, there are a lot of jobs, there are a lot of suppliers, so we’ll go to 75 percent. We also think that 75 percent is what the consumer is ready for. All the same safety capacities remain in effect but we will go to 75 percent.”