New York will continue to allow customers to place to-go drink orders as restaurants and bars continue to struggle in the pandemic-induced economic recession.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration had previously waived the regulation barring to-go drink orders as restaurants across the state shuttered in March, but were able to remain open for take out orders. The move had been applauded by restaurants amid a darkening financial picture for them for much of the year.
Restaurants have returned to in-person dining, first outside and now indoors, but social distancing and other guidelines in place. The order allowing to-go alcoholic beverages was due to expire this weekend; the Cuomo administration on Thursday indicated however it will continue to waive it.
The move was welcomed news for eateries and bars that have had to shed employees during the pandemic.
“By extending cocktails to-go, Governor Cuomo will provide a critical lifeline to local hospitality businesses that continue to struggle with the devastating impacts of COVID-19,” said Jay Hibbard, the government relations vice president of Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. “This extension will give additional stability to restaurants and bars. We thank the governor for his continued support of local businesses. Cocktails to-go are intended for home consumption, and we encourage establishments to adhere to the guidelines.”
The hospitality industry is the hardest-hit sector of the economic crisis due as unemployment overall in New York in May stood at 14.5 percent.