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Reopen New York: State Senate moving to end alcohol-with-food restriction on restaurants

NEW YORK (WABC) — Today the New York State legislature will move to suspend Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order requiring the sale of food with alcoholic drinks at bars and restaurants.

The Senate Democratic Majority will move to suspend that and several other executive orders put in place during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is time to begin removing certain restrictions and regulations that are no longer necessary, so we can safely reopen and rebuild our state’s economy,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said.

The governor’s office says it was planning to do the same thing on Thursday.

However, Republicans and the NYC Hospitality Alliance say what is really hurting restaurant owners is the 12 a.m. curfew that is preventing restaurants from making money.

The move in Albany comes as the CDC released updated guidance on facemasks.

The new guidelines allow fully vaccinated individuals to be outside without their masks unless they’re in a crowded environment like sporting events.

Medical experts saying the CDC’s decision is a sign the vaccine is working.

It is not clear when or if the New York legislature will take on the curfew issue that is impacting restaurants.

The other two executive orders that will be acted today on include:

-Individuals who volunteer to take on significant pandemic-related government work will be treated as public officials, opening them to disclosure and transparency rules.

-The legislature will also repeal “outdated” compliance rules for vaccine suppliers.

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The New York Assembly is expected to take the same steps.

New York Republican leader Rob Ortt released the following statement on the “nonsensical” food and alcohol requirements:

“More than a year after the Governor was first granted emergency powers, our colleagues across the aisle have finally decided to repeal a few of these directives. For weeks, the Majority has ignored Senate Republican resolutions repealing onerous mandates on our restaurants who have suffered greatly under the Governor’s arbitrary rules. While we welcome an end to the nonsensical food with alcohol requirements, many restaurants are still struggling due to arbitrary curfew orders. Hopefully the Majority will step up and repeal this order as well, and join us in finally putting an end to One-Man Rule in this state by fully repealing the Governor’s emergency powers.”

Andrew Rigie, the executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, responded to the Senate’s move to limit the restrictions:

“We applaud the New York State Senate for its move to repeal executive orders requiring food sales with alcoholic beverage purchases in bars and restaurants. This adjustment is common sense, and is a step in the right direction for supporting an industry that was financially devastated by the pandemic. We’re encouraged by the Senate’s appetite for responsibly loosening business restrictions, and urge its next actions to modify the midnight curfew and ban on barstools that unfairly discriminate against restaurants and bars.”

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