New York City restaurant goers will continue to eat under heat lamps this winter, even as a court allowed inside restaurant dining to resume in most other parts of the state. Areas across the state that are currently designated as orange zones will be able to reopen the indoor dining room under the rules governing yellow zones, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office announced Thursday. The move comes in response to a court decision Wednesday in which a state judge ruled in favor of a group of Erie County restaurants that had challenged the indoor dining restrictions that came with their designation as orange zones.
Inside dining is still outside New York City limits as restrictions are relaxed statewide after the court case
But the easing of the restrictions will not apply in New York City, where the indoor dining room is closed indefinitely under a separate executive order issued in early December. Currently, no criteria have been published for the possible reopening of the indoor dining room in the city. Meanwhile, reopenings of restaurants in Orange Zones in other parts of the state may be short-lived, as Cuomo’s office is likely to appeal the court ruling. Related: A Cruel Winter: New York City Restaurants Fight To Survive Amid Second Indoor Dining Ban In a statement, Gov. Kumiki Gibson’s attorney said: “We are reviewing the decision. While that process is ongoing, to ensure consistency and fairness, all restaurants operating in the Orange Zones can now operate under the rules governing the Yellow Zones. “” We do not agree with the court’s decision and its impact on public health, as federal data from the CDC clearly demonstrates that indoor meals increase the spread of COVID-19, “the statement continued.” Since the beginning of this pandemic, the state has acted based on facts and on the advice of public health experts, and we will continue that approach. ”The NYC Hospitality Alliance issued a joint statement by its attorney Robert Bookman and CEO Andrew Rigie, in response to the court ruling, calling the current ban on eating in interiors as “outrageous and destructive to thousands of restaurants across the five boroughs, especially when our infection and hospitalization rates are lower than most of counties in the state where indoor dining is allowed at 50% occupancy. ” Statewide, 6.4% of COVID-19 tests administered Wednesday were positive, and in New York City, 5.6% were positive, according to data from the governor’s office. See Also: Anxious New Yorkers Get Nervous About Slow Vaccines Earlier this week, a group of 70 bars and restaurants in New York City filed a lawsuit against the governor over the “Kafkaesque nightmare” of changing eating regulations indoors and outdoors. In addition to suffering significant ongoing revenue losses, plaintiffs say, many bars and restaurants have spent thousands of dollars or more on retrofitting outdoor spaces to meet new state regulations, only for the rules to change with little or no change. no notice.