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NY Governor Cuomo Updates on NYC Going Forward – July 16, 2020

NY Governor Cuomo Updates on NYC Going Forward – July 16, 2020

The Governor held a tele-press briefing today and made a number of announcements.

The audio from today’s press briefing can be found farther down on the page.

First, NYC’s expected entrance into Phase 4 on July 20 will be decided by 4:00 pm on Friday, July 17. The Governor also made clear that extended indoor activities, available to other NYS regions in phase 4 will not be availed to the city of New York. Such items include mall openings and cultural institutions such as Museums.

It remains to be seen, at this moment, whether NYC be allowed to have social gatherings of 50 individuals. Until a region reaches Phase 4 it’s allowed a gathering of 25 people. Thereafter, that number goes up to 50. The question’s a valid one considering how the city was kept from having indoor dining as would have been the case for its entry into Phase 3 on July 6.

Governor Cuomo also gave an ultimatum to the city’s bars and restaurants. After weeks of having been upset over non-adherence at such spots he declared that any establishment with three related violations will be closed for business.

The following is the transcript for those related portions of his briefing today:

“New York City, we have compliance issues and we’re going to announce a couple of actions today. We have additional regulations on the bars and restaurants. That is a primary area where we’re seeing problems with compliance and we’re taking additional actions. As you know we’ve been stepping up enforcement on bars and restaurants. Bars and restaurants are licensed by the State Liquor Authority. Bradley is on the telephone. New York City, we let bars and restaurants open for outdoor service on June 22. There is significant evidence of failure to comply. The State itself has looked at over 5,000 establishments in downstate New York and found many cases of a failure to comply. It’s wrong. It’s dangerous. It’s selfish. It’s unacceptable. It’s also illegal, so today beginning in New York City we’re going to enact a “three strikes and you’re closed.” Any establishment that receives three violations will be closed for business. Egregious violations can still result in an immediate loss of a liquor license but three violations and you’re closed. We’re also going to post the names of the establishments facing disciplinary charges. New Yorkers are outraged at these establishments. We’re getting thousands of complaints, pictures, videos, et cetera. This is a question of public health and New Yorkers paid a dear price for COVID and they are equally upset with these violations.”

“Also, today all establishments must only serve alcohol to people who are also ordering food. The concept here was bars and restaurants would be allowed to do outdoor dining. That is a dining situation. You go with several people, you sit at a table and you have a meal. That would limit the exposure to the people at that table and then the tables are socially distanced. That’s if you’re eating a meal – if you’re not eating a meal and you’re just drinking, then it’s just an outdoor bar and people are mingling and they’re not isolated and individual tables, and that’s what we’re seeing. Also, no walk-up bar service – all service at bar tops must be only for seated patrons who are socially distanced by six feet. So those regulations will go into effect. Second, in New York City – New York City is headed for Phase 4 on Monday. We will have a definitive announcement as to whether or not New York City goes into Phase 4 by 4 o’clock tomorrow. We want to get the numbers from tomorrow, we want to have them analyzed, and we’ll make that announcement at 4 o’clock tomorrow, so businesses would have noticed for Monday. At this rate they are on track to enter Phase 4, but we will not know until we get the final data and we get it analyzed.”

“In any event, even if we going to Phase 4 on Monday, we are not going to allow any additional indoor activity. Phase Four opens malls, cultural institutions. If we go into Phase 4, we would go into Phase 4 without any additional indoor activity. We are still seeing issues not just in the bars and restaurants, but all across the country, you see as these inside, interior spaces, air-conditioned spaces where the virus is tending to spread. So, we’re going to take that precaution in New York City.”

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