Food & Drink

Indoor Dining in NYC Will Increase to 35% Capacity Starting on February 26

Only a week after reopening, Gov. Cuomo’s latest announcement comes as the city’s infection rates continue to decline.

Daniel Boulud Sur Mar
Francesco Tonelli

With COVID-19 infection rates continuing to decrease across NYC, in a recent press conference, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that starting on February 26, local restaurants will be allowed to increase their indoor dining capacity from 25% to 35%. “The numbers are all going down, so now is the time to start doing more reopening,” said Cuomo.

This latest measure comes one week after local restaurants across the five boroughs were once again allowed to reopen their dining rooms on February 12 at 25% capacity. Before then, NYC eateries had been forced to shutter their onsite services for the second time throughout the pandemic since December 14 of 2020. Currently, the State of New York is offering indoor dining capacity at 50%, with nearby states such as Connecticut also at 50% and New Jersey at 35%.

“We’re responding to the data,” said Cuomo. “Obviously, we’re a little more sensitive to NYC because of the density, the concentration, the history. But we’re headed in the right direction. We’re making progress. The numbers continue to be good. We’ll continue to make progress.”

MORE: NYC Restaurant Workers Can Now Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

Over the span of several weeks starting in late January, NYC residents received mixed signals from Gov. Cuomo in regards to NYC’s indoor dining reopening plan. After originally announcing that it would resume on Valentine’s Day, the date was then bumped to two days earlier to allow restaurants to capitalize on the especially lucrative holiday and make up for some financial losses.

With NYC’s recent turbulent winter weather forcing the suspension of outdoor dining for the third time this season, the new 35% capacity is set to offer restaurateurs some relief and additional business.

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Kyler Alvord is a news writer at Thrillist. Find him on Twitter and Instagram. Or don't. It's really up to you.
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