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NEW YORK, NY— Call it a sweetheart deal for New York City’s restaurants.
Indoor dining in the city will reopen Friday instead of Valentine’s Day on Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.
He said he shifted the long-awaited date at the request of New York City’s restaurateurs, who wanted extra time ahead of what could be a big weekend for their eateries.
“We’ll start indoor dining on Friday at 25 percent [capacity],” he said Monday.
New York City’s restaurateurs have long-hungered for the return of indoor dining, which Cuomo suspended in December amid a coronavirus surge.
Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, commended Cuomo’s move.
“This will allow restaurants to generate much needed revenue from the Valentine’s Day weekend business, much of which they would have lost because the holiday falls on a Sunday this year,” Rigie said in a statement. “The advanced opening and better health metrics are welcome news to the city’s decimated restaurant industry and to lovers alike.”
COVID-19 cases still remain at high levels across the city — especially in the Bronx — but Cuomo said overall they’re trending downward from a holiday spike.
City and state officials measure the rates differently — a mismatch that frequently causes confusion over where New York City stands in its coronavirus fight.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday said the average positivity rate stood at 8.28 percent. By contrast, Cuomo reported the Bronx’s boroughs-high positivity rate was slightly over 7 percent.