As of Tuesday (4/27), 44.6% of New Yorkers had received at least one COVID vaccine, and 31.9% both. With cases continuing to fall in the state, Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the 12 AM curfew on outdoor dining will be lifted beginning Monday, May 17. The indoor dining curfew will be lifted two weeks later, on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31.

Also set to return is bar seating, which will be allowed again starting on May 3. And say goodbye to "Cuomo Chips;" state lawmakers are expected, on Wednesday, to do away with the oft-criticized rule requiring that restaurants serve food along with orders of alcohol, Times Union reports.

"Lifting these restrictions for restaurants, bars and catering companies will allow these businesses that have been devastated by the pandemic to begin to recover as we return to a new normal in a post-pandemic world," Cuomo said in a statement.

Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, said, "These outdated policies made it too difficult for too many small business owners and workers to support themselves and their families, and were a grave inconvenience to customers. Lifting these restrictions is an important step forward for restaurants and bars across New York City, and we will continue working with the state to safely and completely reopen our hospitality industry, bring back jobs and sustain vital small businesses."

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