New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo isn’t playing around when it comes to containing the coronavirus, as his suspensions of liquor licenses and travel bans show.
CNBC reports that Cuomo has recently suspended 27 bar and restaurant alcohol licenses due to what he says has been violations of social distancing rules.
“I’m sorry it’s come to this, but it’s a dangerous situation, and I’ve said it many, many times,” Cuomo said during a press conference call, according to CNBC. “We never opened bars. This was a violation by them from the beginning.”
He said the flouting of rules came when bars seemed to be exploiting the outdoor dining rules by just letting customers drink outside without dining, which wasn’t what the state intended.
According to him, the state is “quite serious” about it, and has filed 410 charges against various bars and restaurants in the state, including four alcohol license suspensions in New York City and Long Island, three in Queens and one in Suffolk County. New York is different from most states in that it doesn’t have separate liquor licenses for bars and restaurants.
Cuomo previously threatened to close restaurants that did not follow social distancing rules.
Additionally, CNBC also reported that Cuomo has joined fellow northeast governors Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Ned Lamont of Connecticut in adding to their states’ respective travel ban lists. The rules now state that anyone traveling from Alaska, Indiana, Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia and Washington must also quarantine for 14 days before being allowed to travel freely in those states. The updated list is 31 states long.
Cuomo said the infection rates in his state and others nearby had been decreasing as of late, unlike at least 41 other states where the rates had been surging in the last few weeks.
He added that the death toll on Monday (July 20) was the lowest since the pandemic began. But while that number was encouraging, “we must remain vigilant,” he said, according to CNBC.