Following complaints last week about raucous crowds outside bars and restaurants in Astoria and the Lower East Side, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that 37 New York establishments — many of them located in New York City — have been issued notices of violations today for not following social-distancing measures on Thursday night.
Cuomo did not immediately outline which establishments located in New York City were in violation of social-distancing measures, if they received fines, and if they will have to temporarily shutter because of Thursday’s action. Eater has reached out to the governor’s office and the State Liquor Authority for clarification.
Cuomo also said that the enforcement action came from state organizations — instead of the city — because local government was not doing enough to curtail crowds and ensure that social-distancing regulations are being followed. “The state police and the SLA are not going to be enough,” Cuomo said at the press conference. “Local government, step up and do your job.”
With scenes of crowds on the Lower East Side and Astoria captured on social media in recent weeks, Cuomo has repeatedly threatened to take action against establishments that aren’t enforcing social distancing measures. Cuomo warned Monday that he would shutdown the city’s restaurants and bars, once again, if the situation wasn’t brought under control.
Mayor Bill de Blasio painted a different picture at his press conference Friday, however. He insisted once again that a majority of restaurants and bars in the city were in compliance with the social distancing norms. He said he was aware of the problems in Astoria and Queens, and added that additional officers would be deployed to those areas this weekend to ensure safety protocols are being met.
“If people really ignore the warnings then of course some institutions sadly will be shutdown, fines we’ll use” De Blasio said at the press conference Friday. “But I still think we’re striking a balance, and I still believe overwhelmingly compliance has been consistent in most of the city.”