Up until now, they've been surviving through patio service and to-go orders to stay in business, with indoor dining still banned so as to prevent the spread of the virus. But colder weather, which could make outdoor dining impossible, would maybe mean closing restaurants down again.
New York City has been unique in the state as one of the only places where indoor dining has not been able to reopen. Cuomo said the reason is a lack of compliance with regulations. The state has had to suspend the licenses of around 150 bars for violations, CNBC reported, along with other restaurants receiving citations or fines that could go up to $10,000 for each violation.
“We have a much … bigger problem in New York City today than any of the surrounding suburbs with a lack of compliance,” he said, according to CNBC, quoting a phone conference call with reporters.
The infection rate in the state has been low as of late, with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reporting the city's lowest infection rate to date at 0.24 percent on Wednesday (Aug. 19), CNBC reported.
Cuomo has recently started making guidelines for other New York City establishments to reopen indoor activities, including gyms and museums. Cuomo said the reopening of gyms is justified because of the lowering infection rates.
But there hasn't been any update on restaurants and bars as of yet.
Cuomo said on the call that he understands "many businesses are under economic hardship and they feel that if they can’t get back to full operating that they are going to have issues,” CNBC reported, adding that the constant changes during the pandemic made it difficult to say what would have to happen next.