New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Thursday warned that the state will take action and shut down restaurants that fail to adhere to the state’s coronavirus restrictions after repeated offenses.
Cuomo said there is “significant evidence” of restaurants failing to comply with coronavirus-related restrictions, particularly in New York City, calling it “wrong,” dangerous,” “selfish,” and “unacceptable.”
Restaurants that fail to follow proper social distancing guidelines and capacity restrictions could be shut down by the state after three violations, the governor said, announcing the “Three Strikes and You’re Closed.”
“Three violations and you’re closed. We’re also going to post the names of the establishments facing disciplinary charges,” Cuomo said.
According to the formal announcement, “egregious violations can result in immediate loss of liquor license or closure before a third strike.”
The governor also introduced additional restrictions on serving alcohol, instructing restaurants to serve it only to those who are ordering and eating food. Additionally, “all service at bar tops must only be for seated patrons who are socially distanced by six feet or separated by physical barriers.”
“Under current law, only establishments that serve food are permitted to serve alcoholic beverages,” the announcement added, encouraging citizens to report potential violations to the State Liquor Authority. Cuomo said:
As we continue our science-based phased reopening, the number of hospitalizations and our rate of positive tests remain steady and low. 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.
New York State has implemented a travel advisory for those traveling from states, basing it on a seven day rolling average of positive tests “in excess of 10%, or number of positive cases exceeding 10 per 100,000 residents.” Those hailing from those states are required to quarantine for 14 days and fill out a form providing their contact information. Those who refuse will face a $2,000 fine.
Twenty-two states are now under the travel advisory. Those include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin.