Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that new measures will be taken to target specific establishments as COVID-19 worsens across the United States on November 11th. The restrictions imposed a curfew that any establishment licensed by the State Liquor Authority such as restaurants and bars must close dining areas at 10 p.m. Gyms will also close at this time.
“We’re seeing a global COVID surge and New York is a ship on the COVID tide,” Cuomo said. “Today, we’ve seen the country set a new record in terms of COVID cases. It is really getting much, much worse by the day.”
Cuomo stated that the NYPD will help to enforce the restriction by giving summons to individuals if they are drinking at an establishment past 10 p.m. Although dining areas will be closed after a specific time curbside food-only pickup will still be available.
The rationale behind the curfew is stated to limit social interactions in public spaces. Others argue that it will restrict drinkers from gaining access to alcohol, which will prevent irresponsible decision making about wearing masks. However, people who are against the measures are either employees impacted by the curfew or critics who suggested closing done in-door dining entirely. Individuals argued that it would be a safer option to close all restaurants, bars, and gyms until after the pandemic because a curfew doesn’t target the root of the problem. If these establishments close early then people would be forced to go somewhere else, possibly increasing public contact on the streets.
Effective on Friday, the curfew will last indefinitely and Cuomo warned that restrictions could tighten in the future.
“If these measures aren’t sufficient to slow the spread, we will turn the valve more and part of that would be reducing the number of people in indoor dining,” Cuomo added. “If that doesn’t work, if numbers keep going crazy, there are some scientists who believe we should close down. I hope that doesn’t happen.”