This City Is Citing Bars and Restaurants For Social-Distancing Violations
As the infection rate for new coronavirus cases continues to increase across the country—with the national rolling seven-day average of new infections topping 66,000 per day—governors in the most problematic states are beginning to crack down on bars and restaurants that aren't strictly following CDC guidelines.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is one of them. According to Eater, Cuomo cited 37 New York establishments today, most of which are located in New York City, for not enforcing social distancing regulations among patrons. He issued notices of violations to the near 40 establishments after complaints from residents living in Astoria (Queens) and the Lower East Side (Manhattan) came in last week about rowdy crowds forming outside of nearby bars and restaurants. Additionally, these places have also failed to enforce mask rules.
Whether or not these establishments received fines or have to temporarily close has yet to be revealed. The incentive to distribute these notices was largely spearheaded by state organizations as local government was failing to limit the size of crowds forming outside of these respective establishments.
"The state police and the SLA are not going to be enough," Cuomo said at a press conference. "Local government, step up and do your job."
He has also threatened to shut down bars and restaurants completely if establishments cannot take control of the size of groups forming outside. In a news conference, Cuomo said that there have been instances this summer where there were roughly 700 people drinking in open spaces, which is why he made a new order that requires a restaurant to close after its third violation.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, on the other hand, said in his press conference that the majority of establishments in the city are in fact carrying out social distancing regulations and other safety protocols.
"If people really ignore the warnings then of course some institutions sadly will be shut down, fines we'll use," De Blasio said at the press conference. "But I still think we're striking a balance, and I still believe overwhelmingly compliance has been consistent in most of the city."
Only time will tell if New York City can continue to keep its new infection rates low, and that will predominantly depend on where or not New Yorkers are willing to change their behavior at outdoor establishments in the upcoming weeks.