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State inspectors to monitor NYC eateries for coronavirus compliance

State inspectors to monitor NYC eateries for coronavirus compliance

Concerned about establishments that have flouted social distancing and mask wearing rules amid the Big Apple’s reopening from the coronavirus lockdown, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is sending state police and health investigators throughout the city Tuesday to make sure bars and restaurants are complying.

Cuomo said he’s ordered state troopers, State Liquor Authority and Health Department inspectors to monitor Tuesday night whether patrons outside pubs and at eateries open for outdoor dining are abiding by the COVID-19 health prevention measures ahead of a decision Wednesday on whether to postpone next week’s planned re-opening of indoor dining.

During a call-in interview on NY1, Cuomo complained of mass gatherings of customers outside the food and booze establishments without wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

“We’re going to be monitoring what’s happening with compliance. I want to get a snapshot of what’s happening,” Cuomo said.

“Don’t forget the discipline. Don’t forget the social distancing. Don’t forget the masks.”

He also complained that enforcement of the health rules is practically non-existent in the city.

“It’s the law. I know there’s a lot going on with the NYPD right now but they have to enforce the law,” the governor said.

He said it’s not a good sign to move forward with indoor dining at half capacity “when you already have a problem you can’t control.”

Cuomo last week gave the green light for city restaurants and pubs to offer outdoor dining, with rules to practice social distancing and implementing infection control measures — including mask-wearing except when eating.

The city would be on schedule to begin indoor dining Monday, July 6, but both Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio said they’re considering hitting the pause button.

They’re also concerned that without proper air filtration, indoor dining could trigger a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

The governor pointed to outbreaks in other states — California, Florida, Texas and Arizona, among others — as a warning about not reopening the economy too quickly.

Patrons at bars and restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen on Saturday.
Patrons at bars and restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen on Saturday.James Keivom

While the impact of the killer bug has abated in New York, Cuomo cautioned that “the virus is raging across the country” and he wants to avoid a second wave here.

He noted that residents from 16 other states with rising COVID infection rates would have to be quarantined if they came to New York under a new executive order.

About the author

James Thompson

James Thompson

James Thompson has worked in various news organizations and now aims to make Report Door one of the best and fastest growing news websites in the U.S. He contributes to the US and World sections.

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