By KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News(NEW YORK) — New York City restaurants can once again serve customers indoors starting Feb. 14.Gov. Andrew Cuomo finally announced in a press conference on Friday that restaurants in New York City “can reopen indoor dining at 25% on Valentine’s Day.”He said that “the restaurants want a period of time” to prepare for reopening in order to hire back staff, plan menus, get orders in, etc.
— Andrew Rigie (@AndrewRigie) January 29, 2021
“You could make a reservation now or plan dinner — you propose on Valentine’s Day — you have the wedding ceremony up to 150 people,” he said as he continued to unveil his plans for reopening.The good news came on the 335th day of the ongoing pandemic as positive cases hit the lowest point since Dec. 11Earlier this week Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, said he was looking forward to hearing Cuomo’s plan to reopen indoor dining.”It’s paramount these decisions are based on data. And, because New York City has lower infection and hospitalization rates than nearly all counties in the rest of the state where indoor dining is open at 50% occupancy, our city’s restaurants must be treated equitably and reopened safely,” Rigie explained. “Highly regulated, limited occupancy indoor dining has been a minor factor for virus transmission and full shutdowns have exacerbated the current economic crisis, which has permanently shuttered thousands of restaurants and bars and put over 140,000 people out of work in our city.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.