While restaurants continue to struggle amid the backdrop of a global pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday there may not be relief in sight for those in need of indoor business out of fears of a possible resurgence of COVID-19 citing precedent abroad.
As de Blasio has given in to outside pressure to allow gyms to open up Sept. 2 – provided they meet state guidelines – the mayor says he will not consider allowing restaurants to seat anywhere other than on sidewalks and curb space for the foreseeable future.
“Indoor dining, there’s not a plan right now, de Blasio said in his Aug. 21 interview with Brian Lehrer on WNYC radio. “There’s not a context for indoor dining. We’re never saying it’s impossible. But we do not, based on what we’ve seen around the world, we do not have a plan for reopening indoor dining in the near term. And in fact, the example that Dr. Jay Varma, my senior health advisor gave to the media this week, Hong Kong started to have a resurgence directly related to indoor dining and bars. And have to close them down. We know what an unfortunate nexus they’ve been for resurgences.”
But the NYC Hospitality Alliance says business owners are facing a perfect storm some form of relief needs to be taken into consideration.
Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, called on the mayor to provide a clear guidebook as to how or when restaurants and their patrons will be able to party like its 2019 all over again.