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NYC Indoor Dining Goes Up To 35% Capacity On February 26th


New York City restaurants can increase indoor dining capacity to 35%, beginning on Friday, February 26th.


Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement during his Friday press conference, a week after he allowed indoor dining to return in the city (at 25% capacity) since it shut down in December 2020.

Indoor dining at 35% capacity now brings the city to the same level allowed in New Jersey, while in other parts of New York, like Long Island and Westchester County, restaurants are currently welcoming diners at 50% capacity.

Restaurants are required to follow many safety precautions in order to reopen for indoor diners. Experts, including the city's top public health advisor, Dr. Jay Varma, recommend those interested in dining indoors limit their group size and also see how well the establishment is following pandemic protocols, like the distancing of tables.


The city's restaurant trade group, the NYC Hospitality Alliance, hopes indoor dining can go to 50% capacity soon, noting that 140,000 jobs have been lost since the start of the pandemic.

Earlier this month, restaurant workers became eligible for vaccine appointments. Still, some employees are anxious. "I wish [Cuomo] would wait to see if our numbers rise at all, which we won't know for another three to seven days," said Rebecca, a server and bartender in Carroll Gardens who spoke to Gothamist after indoor dining re-opened last weekend. "Also, with so many in the service industry and other eligible groups still struggling to get an appointment for a vaccine, he needs to slow his roll."