Bars and restaurants in New York will no longer be allowed to offer walk-up bar service for cocktails to-go, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.
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Patrons will have to be seated and ordering food to drink alcoholic beverages at New York restaurants, a move to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Any New York City bar or restaurant that gets three strikes for violating social distancing rules will be closed, Cuomo, who also announced a national mask-wearing advertising campaign, said.
With indoor dining suspended indefinitely in New York City, a number of bars and restaurants in Manhattan neighborhoods like the West Village, Upper East Side and Astoria have received the most complaints about violating social distancing orders outside.
The restaurant industry continues to grapple with devastating revenue losses as a result of COVID-19-related shutdowns. A number of cities, like Chicago and Washington, D.C. began allowing owners to serve drinks to-go, despite drinking in public being illegal in most states.
More than 2,400 complaints were filed from instances in those areas in six days between June 11 and June 20, the New York Post reported, citing data from the New York City Department of Information Technology. The complaints prompted Cuomo to reprimand business owners and patrons for defying safety measures like mask-wearing and social distancing.
States are able to make up their own rules surrounding how alcohol can be distributed and consumed as long as the drinking age is 21. And many have issued temporary rules that make it easier for consumers to get booze.