New York restaurants may increase capacity, New Jersey increases collection limits – CBS New York
HOBOKEN, NJ (CBSNewYork) – COVID restrictions were relaxed on Friday as the tri-state area prepares for a major reopening later this month.
It’s the next step as businesses gear up for May 19, when New York, New Jersey and Connecticut lift most capacity restrictions completely.
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The bar is back in New Jersey and more people can eat indoors at New York City restaurants, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.
People can bar and take a seat at Madison Bar and Grill in Hoboken for the first time in over a year.
“It’s a good camaraderie, to see what everyone has done, how everyone has fared, to see faces that we haven’t seen in a while,” said Managing Director Zach Krumpfer. “People are feeling a little more comfortable and going out more and more.”
Friday in effect in New Jersey:
- Bar seats are allowed (as long as there is space),
- The buffets are back,
- Outdoor gatherings can increase up to 500 people,
- The outdoor capacity of large rooms increases to 50% if there are 1000 seats or more,
- You can hit the dance floor at private and catered events (just in time for prom!), And
- Indoor and catered events increase to 50% capacity with a maximum of 250 people.
But at Baja in Hoboken, they’re not going to add bar seating just yet.
“It’s a 6 foot restriction. Before, we had 18 people at the bar. Right now we must have six people at the bar. So it’s not very useful, ”said Majur Disla, who plans to continue using additional tables instead.
In New York, dining capacity has jumped to 75%. Personal care services – like barbershops and barber shops – in the city have also been increased to 75% of capacity.
“We’re just trying to get there day to day,” said Javier Olam, manager of Times Square Diner.
While that motto got the restaurant through the pandemic, Friday’s changes are significant.
“It’s really good, it’s a lot of help,” Olam told CBS2’s John Dias.
Watch John Dias report
The move from 50% to 75% capacity means that Olam can accommodate 15 more paying customers at a time.
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New York’s restaurants and bars have been hit the hardest during the pandemic. New Yorkers are eager to recover.
“Anyone can go out more,” said Jaime Gribbon.
“I know a lot of people are tired of being in this quarantine mode,” said Efe Mesiama of Hell’s Kitchen.
“The pace of the vaccinations has been amazing. I think that definitely warrants it and I think we should do whatever we can to help these businesses come back, ”said Eddie Ward of Hell’s Kitchen.
The boost puts the city’s bars and restaurants on par with the rest of the state.
Once capacity returned to 100%, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there could be a day when facilities would only allow vaccinated people indoors or ask customers to show proof. a negative COVID test.
But it can be difficult.
“We have so many walk-in clients,” said Andrew Rigie of the NYC Hospitality Alliance.
Another issue, according to Rigie, is the 6-foot social distancing requirement.
“That still means most restaurants won’t be able to use this occupancy unless you put partitions between all the tables, which can get a bit cumbersome,” Rigie said.
“We’re trying to figure out how many people we can safely accommodate in the building while still keeping a distance of 6 feet,” Krumpfer said. “We may not be able to reach 100% of our capacity.”
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said reducing the social distancing measure would be a game-changer for restaurants.
“They have already changed it for the schools. They lowered that to three feet, ”Murphy said. “As we move forward as a nation, I bet you that number is going down.”
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John Dias of CBS2 contributed to this report.