NYC to Step Up Enforcement At Bars, Restaurants to Prevent Overcrowding

July 21, 2020

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) —  Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday addressed the "troubling overcrowding" that was seen at Astoria bars and restaurants over the weekend.

    "We will no tolerate it," the mayor said.

    He said most restaurants have reported that their patrons are being responsible and large gatherings are not widespread.

    The restaurant considered to be the "focal point" of the crowds, has now been shut down for outdoor dining, he added.

    De Blasio said he knows restaurants are hurting financially and the city is not looking to actively shut down businesses, but there will be summonses issued and officials will shut them down if it has to be done.

    "If they do not cooperate, in our efforts to contain coronavirus, they will be shut down," he said.

    He also announced that the city will begin to take more aggressive action with heavier police enforcement efforts around bars and restaurants.

    "When we agreed to let this part of our life come back, it's not meant to be business as usual," Mayor de Blasio said.

    Outdoor dining was extended in the city to October 31, the mayor said, but there is no set timeline for indoor dining due to concerns that a surge in the virus may occur.

    Monday's daily indicators report 74 COVID-19 hospitalizations and 311 patients in the ICU.

    Two percent of those tested are positive, de Blasio said.

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