You are reading

Cuomo Says City Must Create An Enforcement Mechanism Before Indoor Dining Can Return

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Flickr/ Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office)

Sept. 9, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York City must create an enforcement mechanism before indoor dining can make a return.

The city must create a plan to enforce and inspect restaurants for COVID-19 compliance before indoor dining can reopen in the Big Apple, he said Tuesday.

“If we have the enforcement mechanism in place, then we can talk about opening restaurants,” he said.

The city needs to ramp up its role since the state doesn’t have the resources to enforce the COVID-19 rules for eateries if indoor dining were to open, Cuomo said.

The state task force — made up of the state police and State Liquor Authority (SLA) — charged with enforcement has already maxed out its capacity, he said. It couldn’t enforce another 10,000 establishments added by allowing indoor dining in the city.

“If you now increase indoor dining, you are going to have to have a compliance and enforcement function,” Cuomo told reporters. “If you go to indoor dining, you’re roughly doubling the number of places that you’re going to have to monitor.”

The governor claimed that compliance in the Big Apple is worse than compliance in other regions of the state, such as Long Island, where indoor dining has been open since June.

He added that clusters of COVID-19 cases popped up when he reopened indoor seating at restaurants upstate.

“It would be negligent and reckless to open indoor dining knowing that you have issues in upstate New York, knowing that compliance is going to be a problem and knowing that you don’t have an enforcement mechanism,” Cuomo said.

The enforcement could come from the NYPD or local health inspectors, he said.

Cuomo acknowledged that New York City restaurant owners are struggling to keep their businesses alive as indoor dining has been shuttered for roughly six months.

“I am very aware of the economic pain that restaurants are dealing with,” he said. “It’s bad for the restaurant owner. It’s bad for the staff, the chef, the waiters, the entire team that works there.”

However, he said when bars reopened in the city — albeit outdoor only — there were major issues with people gathering and ignoring social distancing and mask wearing requirements. He said he is worried the same thing would happen if indoor dining reopens.

“We opened bars and it turned out to be a nightmare,” Cuomo said. “There were many violations, and there was very little ability to police the violations, to enforce the compliance.”

The governor said local officials failed to enforce the strict coronavirus safety regulations when bars reopened.

“I beseeched the local governments to help and they did not,” Cuomo said.

This time around, he wants the city to have an enforcement plan already in place before indoor dining can return to the city.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Island woman sentenced to more than two decades in prison for 2021 hit-and-run that killed NYPD cop: DA

A Long Island woman was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for speeding through an NYPD roadblock while drunk and killing a highway patrolman in a 2021 hit-and-run collision on the Long Island Expressway in Fresh Meadows.

Jessica Beauvais, 35, of Myrtle Avenue in Hempstead, was convicted in October of aggravated manslaughter and other crimes following a 13-day trial in Queens Supreme Court. Beauvais had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit two hours after plowing into Detective Anastasios Tsakos while he was diverting traffic around another fatal collision, and then speeding away from the scene of the collision.

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: felony assaults across the borough on the rise, burglaries down slightly in northern Queens

Feb. 21, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of felony assaults across Queens increased during the 28-day period from Jan. 22 through Feb. 18, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Tuesday. At the same time, the number of reported burglaries experienced a slight but noticeable drop in northern Queens.

Queens father, son charged with possessing cache of loaded ghost gun assault weapons in Fresh Meadows home: DA

A Fresh Meadows father and son are criminally charged with possessing an arsenal of loaded ghost gun assault weapons that were found after a court-authorized search was executed at their home on Wednesday.

Hyung-Suk Woo, 26, and his father, Jin-In Woo, 55, of 198th Street, were arraigned late Wednesday night on a 130-count indictment charging them with 97 counts of criminal possession of a weapon and a slew of other charges after the raid uncovered the assault weapons, as well as silencers made with a 3-D printer and other weapons-related paraphernalia, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Thursday.