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Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday rubber stamped a measure that temporarily extends a COVID-lockdown policy that permitted restaurants to set up shop on city sidewalks and streets — a pandemic practice that the Democrat said has served as “much-needed lifeline” to eateries.
The law, which takes effect immediately, extends for another year an executive order signed by the governor letting municipal spaces such as sidewalks and streets be used for outdoor dining, which has allowed for physical distancing — and for New Yorkers to enjoy meals without risking spreading COVID-19, which is more easily transmitted indoors.
“As we build New York back better than it was before, it’s important that we learn from the past and capitalize on those efforts that helped so many of New York’s small businesses survive amid the global pandemic,” said Cuomo in a statement about the bill signing.
“By extending the much-needed lifeline that allowed restaurants to use outdoor public spaces for seating during the pandemic, New York is ensuring that these small businesses will be able to continue to use these spaces as they work to rebuild and support the revitalization of the Empire State.”
Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, celebrated Cuomo giving the restaurant-helping measure a green light.
“Outdoor dining has been a critical lifeline for the city’s restaurants, so enactment this new law will ensure customers can continue to enjoy their glass of wine while dining alfresco, all while supporting small businesses and jobs,” he said.
“Outdoor dining has been a critical lifeline for the city’s restaurants…”
Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance
Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, who sponsored the legislation, told The Post she’s “confident” outdoor dining “will continue to be popular and continue to help revive downtowns and Main Streets across New York State.”
Fahy also said she will “absolutely” attempt to pass similar legislation next year, when the new law expires.
But while the bill’s signing was a win for the restaurant industry, the governor did not extend to-go booze, as the state of emergency order that allowed restaurants to serve cocktails expired last month.
“Licensees please be advised that with the ending of our state of emergency and the return to pre-pandemic guidelines, the temporary pandemic-related privileges for to-go and delivery of alcoholic beverages will end after June 24,” the NYS Liquor Authority tweeted.
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