New York City to let restaurants keep sidewalk dining all year
New York City’s “Open Restaurants” program, which allows outdoor dining for restaurants, will be extended to year round, the mayor’s office announced.
The program, which started in June and had been set to expire Oct. 31, will now let restaurants expand seating to adjacent properties with consent. It also allows restaurants to use propane and natural gas heaters on sidewalks with a permit. Electrical heaters can be used in dining areas on both sidewalks and roads.
New York City currently prohibits all indoor dining, but will allow restaurants to open indoor dining rooms at 25% capacity, beginning September 30.
The program is a bid to help restaurants that have suffered amid social distancing during the outbreak of Covid-19. The industry has struggled to adapt as diners stay home and lower capacity rules put a limit on sales. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday enacted a more sweeping measure, allowing all restaurants and other businesses to reopen.
Across the country, local leaders are grappling with the issue of reopening restaurants, and it has at times proven divisive. States are balancing the need to protect an industry, which generates nearly $900 billion annually in the U.S., with the need for social distancing in order to prevent the pandemic’s spread.
“We already have well over 10,000 restaurants participating, well over 100,000 jobs have been saved,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in an interview on WNYC announcing the decision. “We hope it’s going to make it a lot easier for restaurants to survive.”
One New York restaurateur dismissed the initiative as too little, too late, and coming at no small cost.
“You have to figure a tank of propane a night per table. A tank costs about $40; it only heats smaller areas. That’s around $3,000 a week in propane right there,” said Jeff Katz, owner of Crown Shy restaurant in New York’s Financial District. “Good luck getting a heater now if you haven’t gotten one. Everything online is like, we’ll ship in February. This announcement comes really late.”
(Updates with details on Florida in fourth paragraph.)
For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Three doses of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine offer strong protection for children younger than 5, the company announced Monday, another step toward shots for the littlest kids possibly beginning in early summer. Pfizer plans to submit the findings to U.S. regulators later this week. The 18 million youngsters under 5 are the only group in the U.S. not yet eligible for Covid-19 vaccination. Pfizer has had a bumpy time figuring out its approach.
Over 100 activists belonging to ousted Pakistani premier Imran Khan's party have been arrested in the country's Punjab province for a planned mega-march to the federal capital, Islamabad, demanding early elections. The police, who later confirmed that the arrests were made at the behest of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N ruling coalition, launched the clampdown on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf activists late on Monday night. The agitators were scheduled to assemble in Islamabad on May 25.
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell defended Elon Musk against a sexual misconduct allegation that he has denied, CNBC news reported on Monday. Business Insider last week reported that Musk's private rocket company SpaceX paid $250,000 in 2018 to settle a sexual harassment claim from an unnamed private jet flight attendant who accused Musk of exposing himself to her. The Business Insider article quoted an anonymous person who said she was a friend of the flight attendant.
The District of Columbia on Monday sued Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg, seeking to hold him personally liable for the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a privacy breach of millions of Facebook users' personal data that became a major corporate and political scandal. D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine filed the civil lawsuit against Zuckerberg in D.C. Superior Court. Cambridge Analytica gathered details on as many as 87 million Facebook user s without their permission.
North Korea said on Tuesday it was witnessing a "stable" downward trend in its first confirmed COVID-19 outbreak, reporting less than 200,000 new patients with fever symptoms for a third consecutive day on Tuesday. At least 134,510 people newly showed fever symptoms as of Monday evening, taking the total number of such cases to 2.95 million since late April, the official KCNA news agency reported. The death toll stood at 68.