NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Orders 10 PM Close For Bars, Restaurants Statewide In New COVID Crackdown; Hope Dwindling For Shuttered NYC Cinemas

Jill Goldsmith
·3 min read

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said bars, restaurants, establishments with New York State liquor licenses (like bowling alleys), and gyms must close at 10 pm statewide starting Friday in a new crackdown to contain COVID-19.

The tightening and hyper-vigilance doesn’t bode well for movie theaters, which have been lobbying to reopen in New York City before more key studio releases drop from the holiday schedule.

“It looks like the rest of 2020 is going to be a bust for movies theaters. Even though Wonder Woman is still on the schedule right now, as much as we’d like it to stay there, it doesn’t seem that is going to,” said Joe Masher, president of NATO New York State. Warner Bros. had set Wonder Woman 1984 for Dec. 25.

“Those of us that remain open will try to do so to keep our employees working and our businesses operating in the most efficient way we can to entertain audiences in movie theatres — where there have been no cases of COVID world wide.”

Cuomo allowed theaters everywhere in the state except for New York City to open on Oct. 23.

“The industry needs New York City and Los Angeles to open,” Masher said. “We’ll keep monitoring the numbers and keep asking, when appropriate, to get Manhattan open.” There’s been no response yet to a letter theater owners sent top Cuomo aides Friday.

Hot spots across the five boroughs have been focused in Brooklyn, Queens and more recently Staten Island.

The virus has been surging across the nation and New York is not immune, Cuomo noted at his press briefing today. The state’s infection rate is still the third lowest in the country after Maine and Vermont but it hit a daily positivity rate of nearly of 3% Tuesday, the highest it’s been since May. Infection rates are rising even more quickly in contiguous states like Connecticut and New Jersey.

New York has in part been nudged higher by 4% positivity rates in a handful of cluster zones, or hot spots, across the the city and state.

“We are seeing a national and global COVID surge and New York is a ship on the COVID tide,” Cuomo said.

Restaurants can continue takeout and delivery past ten. The state will also limit private gatherings to 10 people.

Separately, New York City schools may be teetering on the brink of going entirely remote as NYC’s infection rate approaches the 3% mark. Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated yesterday that the 3% figure is a cutoff for in-person classes as well renewed restrictions on some businesses.

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