Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration "expressed our real thoughts and concerns” prior to the state’s announcement that indoor dining will resume later this month — and he called for rolling back the move if the city sees a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement Wednesday that restaurants could begin operating indoors at 25 percent capacity beginning September 30. The Mayor said high-level discussions between the city and state had been going on for weeks, and that the city "took a very conservative position."
Specifically, his concerns revolved around the start date for indoor dining, and a threshold at which the state would suspend the practice.
Under state guidance, de Blasio said, an infection rate in the city of two percent or higher would trigger a “re-evaluation."
“I think it should be that if we get to two percent, we pause,” de Blasio said at daily briefing. "Because if we’re already at two percent, it means something’s moving in the wrong direction, and we need to take quick measures to stop that from growing.”
Among the required safety measures, tables must be placed at least six feet apart, customers must undergo temperature checks at the door and at least one person in each party must submit contact information for contact tracing purposes.
The Mayor said he was confident restaurants would properly comply with the regulations. Asked if he’d partake in indoor dining himself after September 30th, the Mayor said he’d be “comfortable dealing with it” — but didn’t make any promises.
And the Mayor emphasized the decision is “very good news” for the city.
But he added: “We’re going to constantly be careful and cautious. And if we see a problem, we’re going to call it out.”