New York on Thursday moved to limit large gatherings in response to the coronavirus, a move that will cut occupancy limits in half for restaurants and bars.
Already taking a hard hit in the metropolitan region, the industry worries the cap will have a widespread effect on businesses in New York.
“While we understand prioritizing the health and wellness of employees and patrons, this new cap will dramatically impact all restaurants across the state," said Melissa Fleischut, the New York State Restaurant Association's president and CEO.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced gatherings of 500 people or more will be banned, a move that includes shutting down Broadway.
At the same time, gatherings in spaces of fewer than 500 people will be sliced in half. So, a 100-occupancy limit restaurant or bar can only serve 50 people at a time.
"The dramatic decline in business will only get worse, and there is a growing fear among owners about how they will survive this crisis without meaningful assistance," Fleischut said. "We are hoping that the Governor and legislators understand the serious peril these eateries are facing and provide the help we will need to navigate this until the worst is behind us."