On the third and last presidential debate on Thursday night time, the state of the NYC restaurant economic system got here up because the candidates mentioned the economic system and enterprise operations throughout the pandemic. President Donald Trump, who referred to as for a loosening of present restrictions for eating places — which in New York Metropolis, presently features a 25 % restrict on indoor eating and a most capability of fifty folks in indoor areas in most areas — described New York Metropolis as a “ghost city,” and went on to recommend that town’s eating places are “dying” as a result of present coronavirus restrictions in place.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden argued for extra support to assist companies entry sources that might enable them to open whereas following regulatory COVID-19 precautionary measures, like organising plexiglas dividers between tables at eating places. Trump responded by saying that “eating places are dying” and argued that the general public well being security measures like plexiglas shouldn’t be required for eating places to function.
“These are companies with no cash,” Trump stated. “Placing up plexiglas is unbelievably costly. And it’s not the reply. You’re going to take a seat there in a cubicle wrapped round with plastic? These are companies which might be dying, Joe. You may’t try this to folks.”
In accordance with federal well being security steering, the NYC Well being Division has laid out rules that eating places are required to comply with with a view to function throughout the pandemic: Along with capability rules, guidelines presently embrace temperature checks for all prospects on the door, and amassing contact tracing info from a member of every eating celebration. Bodily obstacles like plexiglas dividers are recommended, however not legally required, in areas the place bodily distancing will not be doable, like on the money register.
Twitter customers have been fast to rebut Trump’s claims that town is empty, together with Bravo TV host Andy Cohen, who wrote, “presently in NYC. Not ghost city.” New York Occasions reporter Maggie Haberman added, “visitors in Brooklyn and Manhattan says in any other case.”
Many others famous the energetic outside eating scenes they’ve seen in current weeks. One person, Sinead Keegan, noted that a number of weeks in the past, she was quoted an hour-long wait to dine at a desk open air. Social media influencer Mike Tommasiello wrote that “it’s actually inconceivable to get a reservation at a restaurant in NYC on any given night time so please don’t inform me it’s lifeless.” A number of others responded to a hypothetical-ish question posted by actor Patton Oswalt, sharing energetic scenes from neighborhoods just like the East Village and together with movies of stay road music and folks consuming open air.
Others famous how several restaurants had invested in plexiglass obstacles, rebutting Trump’s declare that plexiglass “was not the reply.” And others nonetheless commended town for opening steadily in comparison with different elements of the nation.
New York Metropolis was the toughest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic when lockdowns went into place in March, and was initially thought of the epicenter of the pandemic in america. Up to now, greater than 19,000 folks have died from the virus in NYC, and greater than 250,000 New Yorkers have contracted it since March.
Nonetheless, in subsequent months, town was capable of get the virus beneath management in comparison with different elements of the nation, considerably lowering its case positivity fee because of a number of lockdown measures — together with the continued shutdown of indoor eating. In current weeks, town has as soon as once more famous an uptick in COVID-19 circumstances in elements of Brooklyn and Queens, however Gov. Andrew Cuomo has taken a zoned shutdown approach, and lately reopened elements of Queens when cases stabilized. NYC will not be out of the woods, however positivity charges right here nonetheless stay low in comparison with different elements of the nation.
Because the begin of the pandemic, greater than 1,000 eating places have shut down citywide as a result of enterprise downturn. Many extra proceed to shut on a weekly basis, however restaurateurs proceed to quote fastened prices like lease as the rationale for closure, not the coronavirus-related restrictions in place.
On the time that indoor eating returned in September, many restaurateurs stated they might not open their eating rooms, citing security considerations for his or her staff and diners. As a substitute, many within the business have called for the federal authorities to cross one other coronavirus stimulus that might enable eating places to function safely with out the upcoming menace of closure and wouldn’t power restaurant staffers to return to work. Trump’s authorities, nevertheless, has stalled on doing simply that.