Indoor dining opening in NYC moved up from Valentines Day to Friday
Indoor dining was set to return to NYC on Valentines Day, but in Monday's (2/8) COVID briefing, Governor Andrew Cuomo said restaurants could begin allowing indoor service two days earlier than expected, starting on Friday, February 12. Capacity will be limited to 25%, despite calls from over 74 restaurants to allow for 50% capacity instead
"Operating at 25 percent is untenable," Kenneth Belkin, the lawyer representing the restaurants, told Eater. "These businesses simply cannot survive at that capacity. They have already incurred enormous losses and expenses to retrofit and make their businesses safe. The costs of reopening and only being able to file [sic] seats to 25 percent makes it not even worth opening and I feel safe to say that this applies to all eateries in NYC."
Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new vaccination mega-site is opening in NYC, at Citi Field. 50% of appointments are for eligible Queens residents, and the other half is intended for taxi drivers and food service workers from anywhere in NYC. It will be open 24 hours a day from Wednesday through Saturday to start with, and de Blasio said they hope to make it fully 24/7. Sign up via the NYC COVID-19 vaccine finder.