NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new guidance for bars and restaurants statewide Thursday.
The governor says bars and restaurants in the state are now only allowed to serve alcohol to those who order food. Also announced, all service at bar tops must only be for those who are seated six feet apart or separated by physical barriers.
Cuomo cited a lack of compliance on social distancing and the wearing of face coverings in bars and restaurants across the state.
Governor Cuomo with updated comments on new bar restrictions/food on conference call “Our intent was to open outdoor dining. Not outdoor bars. Never said we were opening block party bars” Says intention was not to allow large groups to gather and drink. @WKBW— Jeff Russo (@JeffRussoWKBW) July 16, 2020
"As we continue our science-based phased reopening, the number of hospitalizations and our rate of positive tests remain steady and low," Governor Cuomo said. "But we need to remember our success fighting this virus is a function of our own actions. Mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing - basic as they may seem - are critical to controlling the spread of this virus. Especially now that we are seeing spikes in cases throughout the country, this is not the time to let up - especially on compliance enforcement. We know the prescription and we know it works - we just need to be smart and do it."
Erie County Legislature Minority Joe Lorigo provided the following statement in response to the new guidelines:
“The Governor’s announcement that bars and restaurants are no longer able to serve customers unless they order food with drinks is another egregious overreach of power. It is also yet another blow to bars, restaurants, and their employees that have taken multiple financial hits due to COVID-19.
In response to this, I am currently drafting legislation directing the County Attorney to challenge the Governor in court on behalf of Erie County bars and restaurants. I intend to move the item for approval at our next session of the Legislature, Thursday, June 23.
We cannot allow the Governor to continue haphazardly creating rules and regulations that only serve to hurt small businesses.”