Limited indoor dining to resume on Valentine’s Day: Cuomo
Photo by Andrew Kelly/REUTERS
TIMESLEDGER | QNS.COM | FEB. 5-FEB. 11, 2021 5
BY BEN VERDE
Now you have no excuse not to have a date this
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New
York City restaurants will resume indoor dining at
25 percent capacity on Feb. 14, citing the city’s dropping
infection rate and stating with confidence that
positive tests will continue to fall.
Data collected by the city and state paint different
pictures of New York City’s infection rate. According
to state data, New York City’s infection rate peaked
at 7.1 percent on Jan. 4, and has fallen to 4.9 percent
since then. Data collected by the city, on the other
hand, listed the city’s infection rate at over 8 percent
on Jan. 29.
Cuomo also intends to allow weddings and wedding
venues to operate again with up to 150 guests
after March 15, with an emphasis on rapid COVID
testing for all guests.
“You could make a reservation now or plan dinner
on Valentine’s Day, you propose on Valentine’s
Day, and then you can have the wedding ceremony
March 15, up to 150 people,” he said. “People will
actually come to your wedding because you can tell
them with the testing it will be safe, everyone there
will have been tested.”
Queens Chamber of Commerce President Thomas
Grech celebrated the governor’s announcement, citing
his fear that the chilly winter temperatures could
serve as a final blow to local restaurants should indoor
dining not return soon.
“The return of indoor dining at 25 percent capacity
on Valentine’s Day will be a massive relief to restaurant
owners, who look forward to welcoming back
their loyal and supportive customers,” Grech said.
Still, with over 1,000 Queens-based restaurants
closing their doors in the past year, Grech urged
leaders at the state and national level to do more.
“While this long-awaited move is helpful, it is
not nearly enough and we urge the governor, in the
strongest terms, to increase capacity to 50 percent
by March 1 and 100 percent by St. Patrick’s Day,”
Grech said. “We must continue to push for more to
be done to help these small business owners, including
calling on Congress and President Biden to pass
The RESTAURANTS Act immediately. We ask that
all New Yorkers support their favorite restaurants at
Additional reporting by Jacob Kaye.