NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City restaurants may have to pause indoor dining if the city’s coronavirus infection rate reaches 2%.
“I believe firmly that we need to watch our overall trajectory of this disease. And if we get to 2% infection rate on a regular basis – on that seven day average – at that point, we need to immediately reassess indoor dining,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.READ MORE: Pressure Builds On President Biden's Administration To Loosen International Travel Ban Into The Country
“That is very good news for the city. But, I have to emphasize… We have to put health and safety first, we have to be careful,” de Blasio said. “So as indoor dining starts to come back, it will come back with rigorous safety measures, with real limits, with careful inspections, because we have to get it right.”
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Indoor dining will be limited to 25% capacity with tables six feet apart, and patrons must wear masks when they are not seated. There will also be temperature checks, and people will be asked to provide information for contact tracers.READ MORE: Authorities Announce Major Gang Crackdown In Queens, With 28 Arrests
“I know how important this is for people’s livelihoods. I think about the cooks and the waiters whom I’ve taken care of as my own patients. But we must make sure our restaurants are safe – for them and for our communities,” said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi.
Cuomo said the state will reassess indoor dining if the infection rate increases, but the mayor took if a step further, saying the program should be paused.
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“I think it should be that if we get to 2%, we pause,” he said. “Because if we’re already at 2%, it means something is moving in the wrong direction, and we need to take quick measures to stop that from growing.”
If the infection rate stays low, indoor dining can increase to 50% capacity on Nov. 1.
De Blasio said the current rate is at 1.09%.MORE NEWS: Anxiety Grows On Long Island As COVID-19 Cases Increase
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