Amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases, Governor Cuomo finally closed New York City restaurants for indoor dining last week. But on Thursday, the state went one step beyond — one very unreasonable step.
New guidance on outdoor dining decreed that diners eating in the elements (which often means in one of the indoor-ish cabins restaurants have constructed on sidewalks around the city) were forbidden from simply walking through the doors of the attached establishment and using the bathroom.
The State Liquor Authority’s directive that customers are “may not enter the inside of the establishment for any reason,” beyond making little rational sense (the central problem with indoor dining is multiple maskless people breathing on each other, not single masked patrons using the toilet), left unclear what people were actually supposed to do when nature called — hold it? Go in the snow? Use a bottle? One could easily imagine perpetual nemeses Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo suggesting different impractical solutions just to undercut one another.
Thankfully, after a barrage of initial criticism, authorities came to their senses. A spokesperson for de Blasio said on Twitter that after city consultation with the state, the guidance had been retracted. “You can use the bathroom,” she helpfully added.