Cuomo: NYC restaurants can resume offering indoor dining starting on Valentines Day

ALBANY – New York City restaurants can resume indoor dining Feb. 14 while wedding receptions of up to 150 people will be allowed statewide the next month, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo announced Friday he will allow New York City bars and restaurants to reopen their dining rooms at 25% capacity, reversing a citywide ban on indoor service that he put in place Dec. 11 as the state’s COVID-19 rates were on the rise.

The Democratic governor also announced a plan Friday to allow wedding receptions beginning March 15 provided they follow certain rules and restrictions, limiting them to no more than 150 guests and requiring all guests and patrons to be tested for the virus before the event.

Andrew Walcott, owners of Fusion East Caribbean & Soul Food restaurant, poses for a photo at the restaurant in East New York neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.  Walcott had to furlough four employees at his restaurant just before Christmas, after New York state stopped allowing indoor dining.

Cuomo said resuming indoor dining in New York City on Valentine’s Day will allow restaurants time to recall staff and develop reopening plans. 

“The restaurants want a period of time so they can notify workers, they can get up to speed,” Cuomo said. “So we’re saying indoor dining, 25% on Valentine’s Day.”

Cuomo made the announcement during his Friday coronavirus briefing in the Red Room of the state Capitol.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

More:New York lifts COVID restrictions in all orange zones, most yellow zones. What it means

More:You had questions about NY’s COVID-19 vaccine system. Here are some answers.

Previously:Cuomo bans indoor dining in NYC as December COVID rates worsen

Jon Campbell is a New York state government reporter for the USA TODAY Network. He can be reached at or on Twitter at @JonCampbellGAN.

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