Cuomo, de Blasio agree: NYC indoor dining not returning anytime soon

Cuomo says New York can start loosening COVID-19 restrictions not including restaurants

Governor Andrew Cuomo not contemplating making changes to indoor dining bans. 'Fox & Friends First' New York City business panel reacts.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio agree that indoor dining will not return to the city anytime soon, citing a continuous surge in COVID-19 cases.

Cuomo said during a Monday press conference that while he plans to ease some New York COVID-19 restrictions starting Wednesday, "the indoor dining in New York City is a New York City-specific condition" and the state is "not at this point contemplating any changes" to the ban.

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De Blasio, after urging people to stay home if they can and take mass transit if they have to amid harsh weather conditions in the city during a Tuesday briefing, said "outdoor dining will be open" despite the snow.

"Bundle up. Stay warm out there," he said.

Asked when New York City will resume indoor dining, he said he wants "to see indoor dining reopen when it's safe."

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The city is reporting about a 9% COVID-19 positivity rate with 36,067 total new cases reported within the last week.

"We're obviously the biggest city in the country. An incredibly densely packed place. We were the epicenter of this crisis," de Blasio said. "We lost tens of thousands of New Yorkers. We're going to be really careful and smart about when we let people get back together in close proximity with their masks off because they're eating and drinking."

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The mayor said he hasn't seen New York City's COVID-19 case numbers come down and is worried about new variants of the virus coming from outside New York.

Dos Caminos restaurant is closed for indoor dining, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Restaurants were initially shuttered beginning as early as April through September when they were allowed to reopen at 25% capacity -- until being closed again a few months later.

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Cuomo suspended all indoor dining in the city early in December as cases spiked amid the holidays.

A July report from the Partnership of New York City found that "as many as a third of the 230,000 small businesses that populate neighborhood commercial corridors may never reopen" as a result of pandemic-related shutdowns, noting that the unemployment rate in the city had risen to 18.3% at the time.

Audrey Conklin Fox News