New York’s New Curfew on Restaurants, Bars Stricter Than Assumed
State officials released more guidance on the new COVID-19 rules for restaurants and bars.
Last week, Cuomo announced a number of new restrictions. All restaurants, bars and gyms must now close each night by 10 p.m. Cuomo also announced indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences will be limited to no more than 10 people.
Later the New York State Liquor Authority issued more guidance on the COVID-19 related curfew.
Any place with a liquor license in New York State must stop all on-premises service of food and drink, indoors or outdoors, at or before 10:00 p.m. Such establishments may reopen for in-person service at 5 a.m. however alcoholic beverage service may not resume until the stipulated opening hour on the license or the county on-premises opening hour.
Some businesses had hoped the new rule meant that they must stop serving by 10 p.m., but the SLA confirmed all customers must be out of the business by 10 p.m., or the business faces a large fine and potential license suspension.
"All consumption must end at or before 10:00PM. If patrons are on the premises (indoors or outdoors) and consuming food or drink after 10:00PM, you are in violation of the Executive Order and subject to disciplinary penalties up to an including suspension/cancellation of your license and/or fines of up to $10,000," the SLA wrote.
Curbside to-go and delivery service of food and non-alcoholic beverages, or drive-through service, may continue daily after 10 p.m. as long as alcohol is not being served.
The SLA also provided the following questions and answers regarding the new closing time rules:
I am a licensee with grocery store/drug store license, does the Executive Order impose any new restrictions on my business?
No, the 10 p.m. curfew does not apply, but grocery and drug stores must continue to operate under all current DOH and SLA Guidance.
I am a licensee with on premises service privileges, does the 10 person gathering limit in EO 202.74 apply to me?
No, the limitation for non-essential gatherings in EO 202.74 applies only to gatherings at privates residences.
I am a licensee using my on premises service privileges to hold weddings and other events and parties, must the attendees of these events leave the premises by 10:00PM?
Yes, service and consumption must end at 10:00PM at all premises licensed for on premises consumption, and the licensee must cease operation and close to patrons at such time.
I am a licensee operating a movie theater, must moviegoers leave the theater by 10:00PM?
Yes, movie theaters with a license issued by the SLA must be closed daily at or before 10:00PM.
I am a licensee operating a bowling alley, must bowlers leave the alley by 10:00PM?
Yes, bowling alleys with a license issued by the SLA must be closed daily at or before 10:00PM.
I am a licensee operating a casino, must I close at 10:00PM?
Yes, casinos with a license issued by the SLA must be closed daily at or before 10:00PM and can reopen no sooner than 5:00AM. If you are serving alcoholic beverages and are licensed by the Gaming Commission, you may be subject to further restriction by such Commission.