Indoor Dining Will Be Postponed in New York City

This seems like good advice! Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

While New York City moves toward phase three of its reopening, at least one development won’t return as planned. Mayor de Blasio announced at his press conference this morning that restaurants and bars will not be allowed to reopen for indoor service, a move that had tentatively been scheduled to begin on Monday, July 6. The mayor pointed to the rising infection rates in other states, saying, “Indoors is the problem … the news we have gotten from around the country gets worse and worse.”

The announcement comes just one day after Dr. Anthony Fauci testified on Capitol Hill, “Outdoor better than indoor. Bars really not good. Really not good.” In his own announcement, de Blasio pointed to Fauci’s testimony that the United States could see a time when the rate of new infection could reach 100,000 cases per day. “We’ve got to honor those facts,” the mayor said, “and it is not the time to forge ahead with indoor dining.”

Instead, de Blasio explained that outdoor dining is working well and that his administration is going to “double down.” He said that, so far, 6,600 restaurants have taken advantage of the city’s Open Restaurants initiative, which makes it easier for operators to expand their outdoor seating. “We can help restaurants survive … but do it safely and do it outdoors.”

As for when New Yorkers can expect the return of indoor dining — that remains undetermined. De Blasio says the city is working with the state to determine when that time may be. At his own press conference later in the morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that indoor dining would be postponed “until the facts change, and it is prudent to open.”

Indoor Dining Postponed Indefinitely in New York City