New York City restaurants can reopen their indoor spaces at 25 percent capacity this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.
Beginning September 30, restaurants can reopen in New York City with strict social distancing and safety requirements, Cuomo said.
"We can now take the next step," Cuomo said. "I believe in New Yorkers, I believe New Yorkers can do the right thing."
Restaurants must post regulations in their dining rooms, have a high-density air filtration system and distance tables by six feet, the governor said.
Bar service or seating won't be permitted, Cuomo said. Restaurants must close by midnight.
Diners will be required to submit to temperature checks at the front door, wear masks inside and one person per party must leave contact information for Test + Trace teams should an outbreak occur, Cuomo said.
Cuomo promised a decision on whether New York City restaurants could serve at 50 percent capacity, as is the statewide threshold, by November 1.
The city will add 400 members to the State Liquor Authority task force on restaurant enforcement that could include anyone from the Health Department to the NYPD.
"I don't really care," Cuomo said. "This is not an incredibly complex process."
Restaurants caught breaking the rules could lose their licenses depending on the severity of the violation, Cuomo said.
"This is not an issue you want to fool around with," Cuomo said. "It's not worth the risk."
This announcement came just hours after de Blasio said a decision could come "as early as this week," adding, "but there's more work to be done."
Cuomo dodged a question about whether he'd spoken with de Blasio by saying he'd been communicating with stakeholders up until the press conference began.
While Cuomo's plan did not include a specific infection rate threshold, as de Blasio hinted it might hours earlier, the mayor issued a statement during the governor's briefing setting it at 2 percent.
“We’ve achieved a plan that puts health and safety first," de Blasio said. "This may not look like the indoor dining that we all know and love, but it is progress for restaurant workers and all New Yorkers.”
When the NYC Hospitality Alliance released its statement of support for the reopening plan, the group did not credit City Hall.
"Restaurants are essential to New York’s economic and social fabric, and indoor dining is a key component to the industry’s recovery,” Executive Director Andrew Rigie said.
“We’re thankful to Governor Cuomo for announcing a return to indoor dining with a blueprint for future expansion."