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Cinemas and restaurants reopen in Jersey And when in New York?

There are open businesses and others without permits, separated by only one block, on the border between Queens and Nassau

The industry has patiently adapted to the governor

Photo: Andrés Correa Guatarasma / Courtesy

New Jersey cinemas and other indoor venues may reopen next Friday with limited capacity, Governor Phil Murphy announced yesterday.

Face masks and social distancing will be required, and capacity will be limited to 25% or 150 people. Murphy also announced similar measures for service inside restaurants, suspended due to the pandemic.

The Democratic governor’s announcements immediately turned eyes to his fellow neighbor, Andrew Cuomo, as thousands of businesses and workers await similar orders in NYC, which would also be essential to reactivate tourism and tax collection.

But once again Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio left expectations unanswered yesterday, although the governor acknowledged that now New York is at a “competitive disadvantage” with New Jersey.

“I understand that people can go through the tunnel, cross the George Washington Bridge and go to a restaurant in New Jersey, but they can’t do that in New York City,” he said during a virtual press conference from Albany.

He insisted that the risk of a second wave of coronavirus cases, combined with impending flu season By the arrival of fall, it meant that he would not give in in NYC, even though restaurants in nearby Westchester and Long Island and upstate have been able to operate at 50% of their inland capacity since June.

In fact, there are such absurd cases as restaurants open and others without authorization to do it, although they are separated by just one block, on the border between Queens (NYC) and Nassau (Long Island). For this reason, the business “Il Bacco” presented on Friday a lawsuit, to which others propose to join.

“I want as much economic activity as possible. (But) We also want to make sure the infection rate is kept under control. That’s the tension, ”Cuomo alleged yesterday.

Approximately 1,300 of the 25 thousand restaurants and bars in the city have closed permanently in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, according to City Controller Scott Stringer, and 160,000 of the 300,000 workers in the industry are unemployed.

De Blasio predicted that nothing would change until there is a “big step forward” to stop the virus, possibly in the form of “a vaccine in the spring that will allow us to get back to normal.”

Meanwhile, Cuomo’s budget director, Rob Mujica, acknowledged that “there was no specific metric” on what needed to happen for the return to normality in gastronomy.

Mujica said officials were “trying to come up with guidelines” but faced problems because the city’s restaurants and bars “are licensed together.”

However, Andrew Rigie of the NYC Hospitality Alliance rejected the idea that both types of businesses had to reopen at the same time.

“There are more than 25,000 eating and drinking establishments in New York City, and about half of them don’t have liquor licenses because they don’t serve alcohol,” he said. “So if your concern is alcohol, then immediately open the restaurants that do not have liquor licenses ”.

Raymond Lau, manager of the Dim Sum Palace on Manhattan’s famous “Restaurant Row”, opined that “It would be amazing to wait for a vaccine,” as the mayor suggested.

“With the arrival of winter, it is very difficult to dine outdoors. Right now, we are surviving, but if they postpone the indoor dining room, we can survive only three or four months, “he predicted, quoted by New York Post.