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Indoor Dining at Half-Capacity Is On Track to Start July 6, Mayor Says

More guidelines will be released Friday, says Bill de Blasio

Three people walk outside a boarded up restaurant Gary He/Eater

Indoor dining at half-capacity is on track to start in New York on July 6, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press briefing on Thursday. As the number of daily COVID-19 cases continues to decline locally, the mayor said that the five boroughs will likely move into phase three of the state’s reopening plan by then.

More details on New York City-specific guidelines will be discussed on Friday, the mayor added. “It’s exciting that we can now talk about this and get ready for it,” he said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo initially announced plans for New York’s return to indoor dining earlier this month. Every other region in New York has already moved into the third phase of reopening, which includes indoor dining, as of Wednesday. The state’s guidelines call for restaurants to reopen at half capacity, and to have tables placed six feet apart, among a host of other guidelines.

In NYC, the half capacity guideline will prove particularly challenging with many restaurateurs contending with tiny spaces.

The health picture remains reasonably strong in New York. New infections in the city continue to hover around four people for every 100,000 residents, down from a high of 62 during the peak of the pandemic. Positive tests remain in the one percent range, a far cry from the 57 percent range in April. And the death rate is regularly under 20 people per day.

With the uptick in number of COVID-19 cases nationwide, however, particularly in Florida, Arizona, and Texas, many restaurants elsewhere in the country are shuttering again, sometimes following reports of staffers getting sick.

Yesterday, Cuomo issued a travel advisory requiring people traveling from states with high infections to quarantine for fourteen days. Cuomo instituted the policy in conjunction with the New Jersey and Connecticut governors.

Outdoor dining in NYC started on Monday.