Governor, legislature move to ease some pandemic restrictions

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As more and more New Yorkers continue to get vaccinated and COVID-19 cases keep going down, many restrictions are starting to get relaxed.

On Tuesday the Governor said the state would adopt the CDC’s new guidance on mask-wearing outdoors. Wednesday, he announced that next month the curfews on bars and restaurants will be ending.

“This is great this is an actual end date as to when it’s going to be completely lifted,” said New York State Restaurant Association President & CEO Melissa Fleischut. She says the change will help these establishments serve late-night guests. 

Starting May 17, the curfew will be removed for outdoor dining. On May 31 it will end for indoor dining. 

Wednesday the legislature also voted to end the food requirement when purchasing alcoholic beverages, often called the ‘Cuomo Chips’ rule. 

“Executive Order 202.52 has far outlived any usefulness in protecting public health or crushing the virus,” said State Senator John Mannion. 

Republicans supported the move, but said it should have been done sooner.

“Senate Republicans have been calling for this action for months and now today, finally, the other side of the aisle joins in,” said State Senator Peter Oberacker.

Something that is expected to stick around is the eviction moratorium. Next week lawmakers are expected to extend that through the end of August. While Democrats say it will help renters, Republicans say it is hurting landlords.

“Maybe the moratorium made sense early on no doubt. Tenants in need needed some protection. Look it was panic, it was a pandemic, it was something unprecedented. But, now? It’s critical that both tenants and landlords are protected and a blanket moratorium isn’t the answer,” said landlord Elyse Zaccaro.

The Governor also announced that starting May 3, catered events can resume at homes. Right now the limit is 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors.

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