NEW YORK, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that the city would not reopen indoor dining during Phase 3, due to the surge in COVID-19 cases across the nation.
According to NBC New York, Mayor de Blasio stated during a press conference on July 1 that indoor dining will be “postponed indefinitely” in New York City. Previously, the mayor planned to open indoor dining, personal care businesses, and outdoor activities on July 6, as a part of Phase 3 reopening. Although Phase 3 will continue, the plan will no longer include indoor dining spaces.
Mayor de Blasio made this decision in light of recent reports that linked restaurants and bars to the rise in COVID-19 cases across the country. He explained that the current data shows that indoor spaces pose the most significant health risk, and he believes that allowing indoor dining could set back the city’s progress in the fighting COVID-19. De Blasio plans to work with Governor Andrew Cuomo to determine the best way to reopen indoor dinging spaces in the future.
Despite Mayor de Blasio’s concerns for New York City, the rest of the New York State has already reopened indoor dining spaces. Seven regions in the state have even moved onto Phase 4, which allows most non-essential businesses to reopen with moderate safety regulations.
It is not yet clear if the decision to postpone indoor dining in New York City will affect regulations in other parts of the state. However, Governor Cuomo expressed concern that COVID-19 may continue to rise if New Yorkers do not comply with health and safety guidelines.