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Andrew Cuomo clamps down on NYC bars and restaurants

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a new clampdown on New York City bars and restaurants, including no walk-up bar service, no drinking without food and a ‘three strikes and you’re closed’ rule on establishments that fail to enforce social distancing. 

The governor announced new restrictions on bars and restaurants in the Big Apple in a conference call Thursday where he blasted the actions of some newly reopened establishments as ‘selfish’ and ‘dangerous’ for flouting coronavirus safety rules.  

‘The state itself has looked at over 5,000 establishments in downstate New York and found many cases of a failure to comply,’ he said. 

‘It’s wrong, it’s dangerous, it’s selfish, it’s unacceptable, it’s also illegal.’ 

This comes as COVID-19 cases continue to fall in the former global virus epicenter but fears are growing that, after one too many drinks in newly reopened bars and restaurants, social distancing and public drinking rules have become a distant memory.

Governor Andrew Cuomo (pictured) has announced a new clampdown on New York City bars and restaurants, including no walk-up bar service, no drinking without food and a ‘three strikes and you’re closed’ rule on establishments that fail to enforce social distancing

Cuomo announced a new initiative Thursday where the state will shutter any bars and restaurants in the city that fail to enforce social distancing.

Under his new ‘Three Strikes and You’re Closed’ rule, any bar or restaurant that receives three ‘strikes’ for failing to enforce social distancing will be forced to close down.     

Egregious violators could also lose their liquor license and face immediate closure, the governor said. 

Bars and restaurants facing disciplinary action will then be publicly shamed by having their name and location posted by the state, he said.   

Cuomo also ruled that bars and restaurants are now banned from serving alcohol to customers unless they order food. 

People enjoy outdoor dining in NYC. The governor announced new restrictions on bars and restaurants in the Big Apple in a conference call Thursday where he blasted the actions of some newly reopened establishments as 'selfish' and 'dangerous'

People enjoy outdoor dining in NYC. The governor announced new restrictions on bars and restaurants in the Big Apple in a conference call Thursday where he blasted the actions of some newly reopened establishments as ‘selfish’ and ‘dangerous’

Bars and restaurants are now banned from serving alcohol to customers unless they also order food

Bars and restaurants are now banned from serving alcohol to customers unless they also order food

CUOMO’S CLAMPDOWN:

  • No walk-up bar service
  • No serving alcohol to customers who are not ordering food
  • ‘Three Strikes and You’re Closed’ rule where if a bar or restaurant gets three ‘strikes’ for failing to enforce social distancing they will be closed by the state

In addition, walk-up bar service is also prohibited, meaning service at bar tops is now restricted to seated patrons who are socially distanced by six feet or separated by physical barriers.

Diners not seated at the bar must order by table service and consume their drinks while seated in outdoor dining areas. 

The restrictions take immediate effect on Thursday and Cuomo warned they will be rolled out to other parts of the state if establishments in other regions are also found failing to comply. 

Cuomo said he had been forced to take a stricter approach after the state received multiple reports of both establishments and customers flouting coronavirus safety rules.  

One of the city’s most iconic watering holes had its liquor license suspended last week after it repeatedly violated COVID-19 restrictions and cops were called to the establishment numerous times over the last two months to reports of noise complaints and large gatherings in the street outside. 

The White House Tavern – famous for welcoming Dylan Thomas, Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan through its doors – was charged with 30 violations by the State Liquor Authority last Wednesday. 

In one incident in June, members of the New York State Task Force visited the premises and saw 67 patrons consuming alcohol in front of it, while the NYPD reported as many as 100 people gathered outside the tavern with an ‘illegal bar set up and music blaring’ over several dates that month. 

While mass gatherings are banned under Cuomo’s executive orders, the bar was also blasted for several non-COVID-related issues, including allowing customers to buy alcohol without food at an ‘illegal outdoor bar’ during phase one.

The clampdown comes as New Yorkers have been flocking in their droves to enjoy European style, alfresco drinking and dining outside their favorite haunts in Manhattan and Brooklyn. 

The outdoor dining rules provide some respite for bar and restaurant owners that were forced to close their doors back in March as the outbreak spread across the city.

But for local residents, drunken revelers spilling into the city’s streets threaten to disturb peaceful neighborhoods and public drinking laws appear to nothing but a distant memory.   

Restaurants and bars were allowed to open with outdoor dining from June 22 when the Big Apple entered phase two of its coronavirus reopening plan.

Emergency programs aimed to help hard-hit restaurants clamber back to their feet after three months of closures now permit sidewalk and patio seating as well as tables to be set up in parking spots.  

Phase three of the reopening plan – which started July 6 – was scheduled to include indoor dining with a limited capacity.

But indoor dining was put on hold following a surge in coronavirus cases in several states, which has forced officials there to backpedal on their reopening plans and close businesses again. 

Cuomo urged local governments to help enforce his new measures, warning officials it will be even ‘less politically popular’ if a region has to backpedal on reopening due to a surge in cases.

‘I’ll tell you what’s less politically popular – if we have to close down a region because compliance wasn’t done,’ he said. 

People stand outside The Duplex in the West Village end June. Walk-up bar service is now prohibited, meaning service at bar tops is now restricted to seated patrons who are socially distanced by six feet or separated by physical barriers. Diners not seated at the bar must order by table service and consume their drinks while seated in outdoor dining areas

People stand outside The Duplex in the West Village end June. Walk-up bar service is now prohibited, meaning service at bar tops is now restricted to seated patrons who are socially distanced by six feet or separated by physical barriers. Diners not seated at the bar must order by table service and consume their drinks while seated in outdoor dining areas

One of the city's most iconic watering holes White Horse Tavern (pictured) had its liquor license suspended last week after it repeatedly violated COVID-19 restrictions and cops were called to the establishment numerous times over the last two months to reports of noise complaints and large gatherings in the street outside

One of the city’s most iconic watering holes White Horse Tavern (pictured) had its liquor license suspended last week after it repeatedly violated COVID-19 restrictions and cops were called to the establishment numerous times over the last two months to reports of noise complaints and large gatherings in the street outside

New York – once the virus epicenter of the world – has been driving down cases of the deadly virus.

A total of 385 new cases were confirmed in New York City Thursday and seven deaths – marking a far cry from the city’s deadliest day in April when more than 800 were killed by the virus. 

‘As we continue our science-based phased reopening, the number of hospitalizations and our rate of positive tests remain steady and low,’ Cuomo said Thursday.   

Several other states that rushed to reopen their economies have seen cases skyrocket to shocking new heights, leading Cuomo to mandate a 14-day quarantine on travelers from many states.

People arriving from 22 states with the highest infection rates are now required to quarantine on arriving into New York and provide details on where they will isolate or face fines of up to $2,000. 

Cuomo said compliance with this rule went up to 92 percent after the state announced fines.

On Friday, Cuomo will announce whether or not New York City can enter phase four of reopening. 

The governor said Thursday the city is currently on track to move to the final phase Monday, but his administration will review the latest infection data and decide by 4 p.m. Friday.

All other regions of the state have already entered phase four.  

However, he warned that even if the region does enter the phase, no ‘additional indoor activity’ will reopen. 

‘You see the inside, interior spaces, air conditioned spaces, where the virus is tending to spread,’ Cuomo said Thursday. 

‘So we’re going to take that precaution in New York City.’

This means malls, museums, arts and entertainment centers and professional sports games without fans could all stay shuttered. 

When asked what this means for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art which announced Wednesday plans to reopen August 29, Cuomo said: ‘I think they can plan to reopen. And then we’ll see what the facts say.’   

A total of 18,734 people have died from coronavirus in New York City and more than 216,000 have been infected. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk