New York State will end its midnight curfew on restaurants and bars in May, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday. The curfew for outdoor dining ends on May 17 and ends on May 31 for indoor dining.
“We know the COVID positivity rate is a function of our behavior, and over the last year New Yorkers have remained disciplined and continued with the practices we know work to stop the spread of the virus,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Lifting these restrictions for restaurants, bars and catering companies will allow these businesses that have been devastated by the pandemic.”
Cuomo said seating can resume at New York City’s bars on May 3. He also lifted restrictions on catered events at residences, which can now host more than the state recommended limit of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. The events will still be required to follow local laws on masks and social distancing.
Cuomo also announced that gyms and fitness centers outside of New York City will increase from 33% to 50% capacity, while offices can reopen from 50% to 75% capacity.
The announcement comes one day after state lawmakers repealed an executive order that required customers to order food with alcoholic drinks at restaurants and bars. The rule was put into effect in July.
So far, more than 45% of New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 32% have received both required shots, according to the state’s vaccine tracker.
“Everything we’ve been doing is working — all the arrows are pointing in the right direction and now we’re able to increase economic activity even more,” Cuomo said in a statement. “To be clear: we will only be able to maintain this progress if everyone gets the COVID vaccine. It is the weapon that will win the war and we need everyone to take it, otherwise, we risk going backward.”