Cuomo cracks down on bars, gyms, restaurants as coronavirus cases climb again

New York Gov. Cuomo announced new coronavirus restrictions Wednesday – including a cap on the number of people allowed to gather in private homes and a curfew on bars, restaurants and gyms.

All businesses that have a state liquor license, and gyms must close by 10 p.m., the governor said. The rules go into effect Friday.

“COVID is getting worse by the day,” Cuomo added in a string of tweets on the new restrictions. “All around the country. The fall surge is here.”

In July, the governor implemented a “three strikes you’re closed” policy to shut down bars and restaurants that flouted restrictions during the height of New York City’s outbreak.


Republican state Rep. Will Barclay, the New York State Assembly’s minority leader, balked at the time.

“We need to ensure public health is protected, but threatening closures isn't helpful,” he told Fox News. “This is the time to be working with businesses -- not against them.”

Barclay announced on Monday that he had tested positive for the virus. He encouraged residents to continue to practice social distancing in an effort for a “quick turnaround.”

The move adds to the strain on small businesses around the state that have struggled for months with the pandemic prompting government restrictions and leaving many customers wary of venturing out.

In this June 15 photo, New York Gov. Cuomo removes a mask as he holds a news conference in Tarrytown, N.Y.  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

In this June 15 photo, New York Gov. Cuomo removes a mask as he holds a news conference in Tarrytown, N.Y.  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

But Cuomo defended re-implementing restrictions as necessary to stop the virus’ proliferation.

“We know indoor gatherings and parties are a major source of COVID spread,” he announced Wednesday afternoon. “To slow the spread [New York state] will limit indoor gatherings at private residences to 10 people.”

He also urged residents to wear masks, get tested and follow coronavirus-related health guidelines.

“Take this seriously,” he said.

The new restrictions come a day after the governor’s office announced that cases were rising again and expected to continue to do so as winter approaches. 

Still, there were positive signs in the Empire State – it had the third-lowest COVID-19 positivity rate in the past week behind only Vermont and Maine, each of which has far less population density.


Of more than 160,000 rests reported Tuesday, Cuomo said 4,820 had positive results – just under 3 percent of them. Coronavirus hospitalizations across New York were at 1,628, up from 1,548 a day earlier. Tuesday’s COVID-19 death toll was at 21. There were 32 on Monday.