Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that bars, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and casinos across New York will be closed for the foreseeable future in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 cases in New York.
The new regulations are being imposed in conjunction with New Jersey and Connecticut, as the three governors attempt a regional approach to combatting the novel coronavirus – or COVID-19 – throughout the tri-state area amid “a lack of federal direction.”
“I want federal guidance,” Cuomo said during a press conference in Albany on Monday. “This is a national pandemic, but there are no national rules.”
Bars and restaurants in New York will be allowed to serve take-out and delivery, and a waiver will be provided to serve take-out alcohol.
Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont also announced that all three states will limit crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people or less, effective 8 p.m. Monday.
“Our primary goal right now is to slow the spread of this virus so that the wave of new infections doesn’t crash our health care system, and everyone agrees social distancing is the best way to do that,” Cuomo said. “This is not a war that can be won alone, which is why New York is partnering with our neighboring states to implement a uniform standard that, not only keeps our people safe, but also prevents ‘state shopping’ where residents of one state travel to another and vice versa.
“I have called on the federal government to implement nationwide protocols but in their absence we are taking this on ourselves.”
In New York, Cuomo’s statewide executive order overrides all local laws and local executive orders. There was no indication when the ban on large gatherings would be lifted, or when bars and restaurants will be able to open again for on-premise service.
On Sunday, New York City imposed a similar ban on its bars and restaurants. The New York City School District also closed on Monday and Gov. Cuomo said a statewide order to close any schools that still remain open will be issued later Monday.