It isn’t just red states lifting restrictions: Cuomo moves up indoor dining ahead of Valentine’s Day

Indoor dining will resume in New York City on Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced, two days ahead of the original target date, which will allow eateries to benefit from the full Valentine’s Day weekend.

During a press briefing on Monday, Cuomo said the post-holiday surge of COVID-19 cases is over. The rolling average of cases and hospitalizations have declined over the past week, compared to the past four weeks.

“We respond to the data, we respond to the facts that we face today. The facts may change tomorrow and then we will change with the facts,” he said. “The enemy changes tactics, we adjust with the enemy. But the numbers are down now.”

Cuomo said restaurants asked to open “a couple of days earlier” so they can be ready for Valentine’s Day, traditionally one of the busiest days in the restaurant industry. Effective on Friday, he said indoor dining will be allowed at 25 percent capacity.

Indoor dining has been banned in New York City for much of the pandemic. Cuomo first shut it down in March, before reopening at limited capacity in September. It was banned again in December amid rising cases after Thanksgiving.